The Lower-Extremity Physician's Prescription for Effectively Treating Infection
The discovery of antibiotic drugs was one of the most significant medical achievements of the 20th century. The improper use of antibiotic drugs to prevent and treat infections has resulted in the emergence of resistance. Antimicrobic stewardship programs are becoming a mainstay in the fight against multidrug-resistant organisms. Individual clinicians should be encouraged to adopt the principles of antibiotic stewardship when treating lower-extremity infections in their scope of practice. First, a review of the available literature outlining the concept and practice of antibiotic stewardship is offered. Second, a discussion describing how to adopt and apply these principles to the individual clinician's practice as it applies to lower-extremity infections is offered. Finally, specific antimicrobial pharmacologic spectra and antibiogram information are offered.
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a progressive deformity that can result in the development of a pathologic flatfoot deformity. Numerous publications have studied the effects of clinical interventions at specific stages of progression of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, but there is still uncertainty regarding the clinical identification of the condition. It is clear that more information regarding the etiology, progression, and risk factors of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is required. Clear evidence exists that suggests that the quality of life for patients with posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is significantly affected. Furthermore, evidence suggests that early conservative intervention can significantly improve quality of life regarding disability, function, and pain. This would suggest that significant cost burden reductions could be made by improving awareness of the condition, which would improve early diagnosis. Early conservative intervention may help reduce the number of patients requiring surgery. This review focuses on the etiologic factors, epidemiologic features, and pathogenesis of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. It aims to analyze, discuss, and debate the current understanding of this condition using the available literature. In addition, there is a discussion of the evidence base surrounding disease characteristics associated with the different clinical stages of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 176–186, 2011)
Ankle dorsiflexion measurement is important for clinical and research use. With so much evidence on the unreliability of goniometric measurements, a systematic review was performed to investigate various alternative techniques for measuring ankle dorsiflexion in the nonneurologic patient. All of the major databases were queried electronically to identify studies that used any method of ankle dorsiflexion measurement in the nonneurologic subject. Keywords included ankle dorsiflexion NOT cerebral palsy NOT stroke, the latter to exclude neurologic conditions. In 755 studies that used some form of ankle joint dorsiflexion measurement, ten different techniques were identified that included various apparatuses designed specifically for this purpose. Reliability testing of these techniques involved test-retest trials with small student populations as subjects, which returned high intraclass correlation coefficient scores. However, their methodological quality would have benefitted from the use of an actual patient population and comparison with a reference standard. When validating ankle dorsiflexion measurement techniques, actual patient populations should be used, otherwise papers would score poorly on methodological quality assessment. Standardizing patient position, foot posture, amount of moment applied, and reference landmarks will ensure that various trial results can be compared directly. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(1): 59–69, 2011)
Fever is an active yet nonspecific response of the body to infections and other insults that cause immune cells to release cytokines, resulting in a brain prostanoid–mediated rise in body temperature. The causes, types, clinical management, and postoperative consequences of fever are reviewed in this article. Physicians use fever as a clinical sign for diagnoses and prognoses, but “fevers of unknown origin” continue to be problematic. Fevers that arise 1 or 2 days after surgery are usually due to stress and trauma, but later postoperative fevers often have more serious causes and consequences, such as wound infection. Fever is commonly encountered by podiatric physicians and surgeons, and certain procedures with the lower extremity are more likely to eventuate in fever. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 281–290, 2010)
Equinus is characterized by reduced dorsiflexion of the ankle joint, but there is a lack of consensus regarding criteria for definition and diagnosis. This review examines the literature relating to the definition, assessment, diagnosis, prevalence, and complications of equinus. Articles on equinus and assessment of ankle joint range of motion were identified by searching the EMBASE, Medline, PubMed, EBSCOhost, Cinahl, and Cochrane databases and by examining the reference lists of the articles found. There is inconsistency regarding the magnitude of reduction in dorsiflexion required to constitute a diagnosis of equinus and no standard method for assessment; hence, the prevalence of equinus is unknown. Goniometric assessment of ankle joint range of motion was shown to be unreliable, whereas purpose-built tools demonstrated good reliability. Reduced dorsiflexion is associated with alterations in gait, increased forefoot pressure, and ankle injury, the magnitude of reduction in range of motion required to predispose to foot or lower-limb abnormalities is not known. In the absence of definitive data, we propose a two-stage definition of equinus: the first stage would reflect dorsiflexion of less than 10° with minor compensation and a minor increase in forefoot pressure, and the second stage would reflect dorsiflexion of less than 5° with major compensation and a major increase in forefoot pressure. This proposed definition of equinus will assist with standardizing the diagnosis and will provide a basis for future studies of the prevalence, causes, and complications of this condition. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(3): 195–203, 2010)
Therapeutic Options for Diabetic Foot Infections
A Review with an Emphasis on Tissue Penetration Characteristics
Foot complications are common in diabetic patients; foot ulcers are among the more serious consequences. These ulcers frequently become infected, and if not treated promptly and appropriately, diabetic foot infections can lead to septic gangrene and amputation. Foot infections may be classified as mild, moderate, or severe; this largely determines the approach to therapy. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common pathogen in these infections, and the increasing incidence of methicillin-resistant S aureus during the past two decades has further complicated antibiotic treatment. Chronic infections are often polymicrobial. Physiologic changes, and local and systemic inflammation, can affect the plasma and tissue pharmacokinetics of antimicrobial agents in diabetic patients, leading to impaired target-site penetration. Knowledge of the serum and tissue concentrations of antibiotics in diabetic patients is, therefore, important for choosing the optimal drug and dose. This article reviews the commonly used therapeutic options for treatment, including many newer antibiotics developed to target multidrug-resistant gram-positive bacteria, and includes available data relating specifically to the tissue penetration of these agents. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(1): 52–63, 2010)
This article explores relevant full-text literature to reveal the effects of heel height on gait and posture and the kinetics and kinematics of the foot, ankle, knee, hip, and spine. Furthermore, special attention will be given to the implications of increased heel height for clinicians treating locomotor disorders and provide information to aid clinical decision making. Full-text articles accessed from databases including AMED, ASSIA, Blackwell Synergy, BNI, Voyager, CINAHL, ScienceDirect, and Taylor Francis inform the review. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(6): 512–518, 2009)
Subungual exostosis is a slow-growing, benign outgrowth of normal bone under the nail that affects the nail unit. The most common location in the foot is the dorsal surface of the distal phalanx of the big toe. Clinically, it can appear in combination with a variety of nail disorders, masking the underlying bone condition, which is frequently unrecognized or misdiagnosed. A new classification system for these lesions is proposed on the basis of the clinical signs and symptoms present during examination and the associated disorders of the nail plate. Also, a therapeutic algorithm that describes surgical approaches to the different presentations of this disorder is presented. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(6): 519–524, 2009)
Background: Plantar fascia release for chronic plantar fasciitis has provided excellent pain relief and rapid return to activities with few reported complications. Cadaveric studies have led to the identification of some potential postoperative problems, most commonly weakness of the medial longitudinal arch and pain in the lateral midfoot.
Methods: An electronic search was conducted of the MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, SportDiscus, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane, and AMED databases. The keywords used to search these databases were plantar fasciotomy and medial longitudinal arch. Articles published between 1976 and 2008 were identified.
Results: Collectively, results of cadaveric studies suggested that plantar fasciotomy leads to loss of integrity of the medial longitudinal arch and that total plantar fasciotomy is more detrimental to foot structure than is partial fasciotomy. In vivo studies, although limited in number, concluded that although clinical outcomes were satisfactory, medial longitudinal arch height decreased and the center of pressure of the weightbearing foot was excessively medially deviated postoperatively.
Conclusions: Plantar fasciotomy, in particular total plantar fasciotomy, may lead to loss of stability of the medial longitudinal arch and abnormalities in gait, in particular an excessively pronated foot. Further in vivo studies on the long-term biomechanical effects of plantar fasciotomy are required. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(5): 422–430, 2009)
Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in potential phototherapy technologies for the local treatment of bacterial and fungal infection. Currently, onychomycosis is the principle disease that is the target of these phototherapies in podiatric medicine. Some of these technologies are currently undergoing in vitro and in vivo trials approved by institutional review boards. The three light-based technologies are ultraviolet light therapy, near infrared photo-inactivation therapy, and photothermal ablative antisepsis. Each of these technologies have markedly dissimilar mechanisms of action. In this review, each technology will be discussed from the perspectives of history, photobiology, individual mechanism of action, safety, and potential clinical efficacy, with data presented from published material. This review is intended to give podiatric physicians detailed information on state-of-the-art infectious disease phototherapy. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(4): 348–352, 2009)