Toenail onychomycosis is a common condition that is equally challenging for podiatrists and patients. This case study documents a 26-year-old woman with bilateral total dystrophic onychomycosis of at least 5 years’ duration. She had previously failed to respond to treatment with ciclopirox nail lacquer 8% and, despite hiding her condition with nail polish, was suffering from embarrassment, distress, and low self-esteem. At initial consultation, 100% of both great toenails was affected. After discussion of all treatment options, the patient opted for topical efinaconazole 10% solution, once daily for 48 weeks. Significant improvement was noted at the first (4-week) assessment period. This improvement was maintained through each subsequent virtual consultation, and complete cure was seen at a 30-week follow-up visit. To the author’s knowledge, this is the first published report on the use of efinaconazole in total dystrophic onychomycosis. It suggests that the product may be effective in patients with even the most severe and treatment-recalcitrant disease, who are unwilling or unable to tolerate systemic antifungal therapy.
Background: Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of musculoskeletal discomfort. Minimally invasive interventions are preferred as second-line treatments following failure of conservative management. We report on a novel technique of ultrasound-guided percutaneous release of the medial third of the plantar fascia with the use of a fine cutting device for the treatment of persistent plantar fasciitis.
Methods: This is a retrospective case series of all patients treated with the technique between 2013 and 2015. Patients had failed conservative management for a minimum of 6 months. The procedure was performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. Under continuous ultrasound guidance, release of the medial third of the plantar fascia from the calcaneus was performed using an ophthalmic V-Lance knife through a medial stab wound entry point.
Results: Fifteen patients (six men and nine women) with an average age of 54.7 years were included. The mean (standard deviation [SD]) visual analogue scale score for pain improved significantly, from 66.0 (SD, 18.8) preoperatively to each consecutive follow-up point: 29.3 (SD, 25.2) at 2 weeks, 30.0 (SD, 27.8) at 4 weeks, and 34.0 (SD, 26.1) at 12 weeks (P < .001). The mild increase in visual analogue scale score between 4 and 12 weeks was statistically significant (P = .018). Average duration of required analgesia was 5.5 days and average time required to return to usual activities was 5.7 days. Two patients suffered with refractory neuropathic pain over the lateral border of the foot without any obvious abnormality.
Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided percutaneous release with the use of a fine cutting device could be an alternative option for the treatment of persistent plantar fasciitis. The technique is not without complications, and a mild but statistically significant decline in pain levels from early to short term has been detected. Therefore, the long-term outcomes of this technique need to be investigated before we can advocate its routine use.
Human and mechanical simulations are used to teach and assess clinical competencies in medical education. In 2014, the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners implemented the Clinical Skills Patient Encounter, an examination using standardized patients. Similar clinical skills examinations already existed as part of medical and osteopathic licensure examinations. The purpose of this study was to assess the use of simulation-based education in the nine colleges of podiatric medicine in the United States to inform podiatric clinical faculty and other stakeholders about current trends within the podiatric education system. In 2019, the Clinical Skills Patient Encounter committee of the National Board of Podiatric Medical Examiners developed a survey and contacted each podiatric school to voluntarily participate. The mailed survey instrument gathered information on patient simulation modalities, years used, clinical content application, simulation program administration, facilities and equipment available, and the role of simulation educators. All nine schools participated anonymously. The survey showed that simulation modalities were used in all of the schools during the first 3 years, although there was considerable variance in their use.
Background: Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) was first introduced into clinical practice in 1982 and has been a beneficial inclusion to the non-invasive treatment option of numerous orthopaedic pathologies. However, clinical evidence of the use of ESWT for various foot and ankle disorders has been limited with a consensus on its efficacy yet available. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to systematically review the literature, to provide a critical evaluation and meta-analysis for the use of ESWT in foot and ankle disorders.
Methods: The PubMed and Embase databases were systematically reviewed and clinical studies that reported ESWT use for various foot and ankle disorders included.
Results: A total of 24 clinical studies that included 12 randomized controlled trials and 12 case series were identified. Analysis of the evidence has indicated that ESWT can help manage plantar fasciitis, calcaneal spur, Achilles tendinopathy and Morton’s neuroma. Meta-analysis of the change in pre-to post-VAS overall scores for plantar fasciitis significantly favored ESWT compared to placebo/conservative treatment with a MD-3.10(95%Cl, -4.36 to -1.83; l2=68%; P<0.00001).
Conclusions: The current evidence has suggested that ESWT can provide symptomatic benefit to plantar fasciitis treatment, with minimal and unremarkable side effects. Overall, ESWT has been demonstrated to be safe treatment option with a favorable complication profile. Further well-designed studies of ESWT for the treatment of calcaneal spurs, Achilles tendinopathy and Morton’s neuroma are warranted to more soundly and safely support its current use. Future studies are suggested to investigate the optimization of ESWT treatment protocols.
People suffering from diabetes are at risk of developing foot ulcerations, which, if left untreated, could also lead to amputation. Monitoring of the foot temperature can help in the prevention of these foot complications, and various studies have shown that elevated temperatures may be indicative of ulceration. Over the years there have been various devices that were designed for foot temperature monitoring, both for clinical and home use. The technologies used vary from infrared (IR) thermometry, liquid crystal thermography (LCT), IR thermography and a vast range of analogue and digital temperature sensors that were incorporated in different measurement platforms. All these systems are able to collect thermal data from the foot, some being able to acquire data only when the foot is stationary and others being able to acquire from the foot in motion, which can give a more in-depth insight to any emerging problems. The aim of this review is to evaluate the available literature related to the technologies used in these systems, outlining the benefits of each and what further developments may be required to make the foot temperature analysis more effective.
Background: Perceived acceptability of barefoot use has largely been ignored in the literature despite its importance to long-term implementation and behaviour change. This study aimed to compare acceptability of undertaking weight bearing physical activities in regular running shoes versus barefoot in habitually shod individuals.
Methods: Healthy young men and women were recruited from the Gold Coast. Participants completed six activities (lunges, walking, jogging, sidestep, vertical jump and hop) in shod and barefoot conditions then answered questions pertaining to level and source of discomfort, ease of performance, and acceptability. Indices of bone quality were measured from the dominant calcaneus by quantitative ultrasound (QUS).
Results: Seventeen healthy male (n = 8) and female (n = 9) university students participated in the study [mean ± standard deviation, age 26.59 ± 7.26 years, body mass index [BMI] 23.08 ± 3.58 kg/m2]. Men were taller, heavier and had higher broadband ultrasound attention (BUA) than women (p<0.05). For “no” discomfort, “very easy” ease of performance and a “good amount” or “very good amount” of acceptability, shod conditions demonstrated response rates of 87.25%, 55.88% and 72.55% respectively. Barefoot conditions demonstrated rates of 62.75%, 39.22% and 48.03% for the same responses, respectively, and reported more ball of foot, forefoot, heel and plantar skin locations as sources of discomfort during activity than the shod condition. The group vertical jump height was higher barefoot than shod (44.88 ± 8.44 cm and 43.25 ± 8.76 cm respectively; p<0.05), but no difference was seen for the hop. Males jumped and hopped higher than females under both footwear conditions (p<0.05).
Conclusions: Participants initiating barefoot weight bearing exercise may experience slightly greater discomfort and less ease of performance in the initial transition from the shod condition, however, may perform better in vertical jump. Whether those differences in experience persist over the long term will require longitudinal studies.
Drug based treatment of superficial fungal infections, such as onychomycosis, is not the only defense. Sanitization of footwear such as shoes, socks/stockings, and other textiles is integral to the prevention of recurrence, and reduction of spread for superficial fungal mycoses. The goal of this review was to examine the available methods of sanitization for footwear and textiles against superficial fungal infections. A systematic literature search of various sanitization devices and methods that could be applied to footwear and textiles using PubMed, Scopus, and MEDLINE was performed. Fifty-four studies were found relevant to the different methodologies, devices, and techniques of sanitization as it pertains to superficial fungal infections of the feet. These included topics of basic sanitization, antifungal and antimicrobial materials, sanitization chemicals and powder, laundering, ultraviolet, ozone, non-thermal plasma, microwave radiation, essential oils, and natural plant extracts. In management of onychomycosis it is necessary to think beyond treatment of the nail, as infections enter through the skin. Those prone to onychomycosis should examine their environment, including surfaces, shoes, and socks, and ensure that proper sanitization is implemented.
Background: Studies of arch height index (AHI), arch rigidity index (ARI), and arch stiffness have primarily focused on healthy populations. Normative values of the aforementioned measurements in a pathologic sample may be useful in identifying relationships between arch structure and pathology.
Methods: AHI was obtained bilaterally at 10% and 90% weightbearing conditions using the AHI measurement system. ARI and arch stiffness were calculated using AHI measurements. Dependent t tests compared right and left, dominant and nondominant, and injured and noninjured limbs. Dominant feet were compared between sexes using independent t tests. Relationships between arch stiffness and subcategories were examined using the coefficient of determination (R2). One-way analyses of variance determined differences between arch structure and number of pathologies or body mass index (BMI).
Results: A total of 110 participants reported one (n = 55), two (n = 38), or three or more (n = 17) pathologies. Plantar fasciitis (n = 31) and hallux valgus (n = 28) were the most common. AHI, ARI, and arch stiffness did not differ between limbs or sexes for any comparisons. Between subgroups of BMI and number of pathologies, BMI influenced AHI (10% weightbearing) and arch stiffness (P < .05). Arch stiffness showed a weak relationship to AHI, where a higher AHI was associated with a stiffer arch (R2 = 0.06).
Conclusions: Normative arch structure values were established in a pathologic sample with a large incidence of plantar fasciitis and hallux valgus. Understanding relationships between arch structure and pathology is helpful for clinicians and researchers.
Background: Adhesions after tendinopathy in individuals who perform physical work and those physically active in middle age are a challenging problem for orthopedic surgeons. We evaluated the effects of human-derivated amniotic membrane on tendon healing, adhesions, angiogenesis, and the inflammatory process.
Methods: Thirty-five rats were divided evenly into five groups, and the left lower extremity was used in this study. No interventions were applied to the control group (group 5). In the other groups, Achilles tendons were partially cut to the midline. Then, primary repair (group 1), amniotic membrane treatment with no repair (group 2), primary repair and amniotic membrane treatment (group 3), or secondary healing with no repair (group 4) was performed.
Results: Use of amniotic membrane in tendon healing resulted in decreased adhesion formation and positive effects on collagen sequencing and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, for the vascular endothelial growth factor evaluation there was no difference among the amniotic membrane repair groups, but there was an increase in vascular endothelial growth factor positivity compared with the control group.
Conclusions: These data show that amniotic membrane treatment can alter biological behavior and induce surface-dependent angiogenesis and can have angiogenetic effects on ischemia and inflammation.
Background: Neurologic screening tests are often used to identify and stratify patients at risk for diabetic foot complications such as infections, ulcers, and amputations. Two of the most commonly cited methods are the 5.07 Semmes-Weinstein monofilament (SWM) for loss of protective sensation and vibratory sensation testing. The aim of this study was to determine whether combined SWM and the timed vibration test (TVT) more effectively predicts diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) development compared with each test alone.
Methods: An electronic medical record database search was performed restricted to podiatric medical clinic patients with diabetes and DFU ICD-10 diagnosis codes. Of 200 patients who met the criteria, 24 developed DFUs. A statistical analysis was performed comparing the SWM and TVT at various cutoff times and the combined SWM/TVT in their ability to predict DFUs.
Results: Statistical analysis revealed that the TVT cutoff time of less than 4 sec was superior to the other times for prediction of DFUs. The combined SWM/TVT results at less than 4 sec were superior to each test individually: sensitivity, 87.5%; specificity, 84.7%; positive predictive value, 43.8%; and receiver operating characteristics area under the curve, 0.86.
Conclusions: The SWM combined with TVT was shown to be superior compared with either test alone in discriminating DFU risk. In addition, the TVT cutoff time of less than 4 sec proved to have greater diagnostic yield than other times, including 0 sec. This unexpected finding might impact providers relying on the absence of vibration sensation via tuning fork testing as an optimal marker of DFU risk.