Foot and nail care specialists spend a great portion of their day using nail drills to reduce nail thickness and smooth foot calluses. This process generates a large amount of dust, some of which is small enough to breathe in and deposit into the deepest regions of the respiratory tract, potentially causing health problems. Foot and nail dust often contains fungi, from both fungus-infected and healthy-appearing nails. Although the majority of healthy individuals can tolerate inhaled fungi, the immune systems of older, immunocompromised, and allergy-prone individuals often react using the inflammatory T helper cell type 2 pathway, leading to mucus overproduction, bronchoconstriction, and, in severe cases, lung tissue damage. To protect vulnerable podiatry professionals, wearing a surgical mask, using a water spray suppression system on nail drills, installing air filtration systems, and considering drilling technique can help reduce exposure to nail dust.
There are many theoretical models that attempt to accurately and consistently link kinematic and kinetic information to musculoskeletal pain and deformity of the foot. Biomechanical theory of the foot lacks a consensual model: clinicians are enticed to draw from numerous paradigms, each having different levels of supportive evidence and contrasting methods of evaluation, in order to engage in clinical deduction and treatment planning. Contriving to find a link between form and function lies at the heart of most of these competing theories and the physical nature of the discipline has prompted an engineering approach. Physics is of great importance in biology and helps us to model the forces that the foot has to deal with in order for it to work effectively. However, the tissues of the body have complex processes that are in place to protect them and they are variable between individuals. Research is uncovering why these differences exist and how these processes are governed. The emerging explanations for adaptability of foot structure and musculoskeletal homeostasis offer new insights into how clinical variation in outcomes and treatment effects might arise. These biological processes underlie how variation in the performance and use of common traits, even within apparently similar subgroups, make anatomical distinction less meaningful and are likely to undermine the justification of a “foot type.” Furthermore, mechanobiology introduces a probabilistic element to morphology based on genetic and epigenetic factors.
Morton's neuroma is a common condition that routinely presents in podiatric practice. The aim of this study was to systematically synthesize the evidence relating to the effectiveness of a corticosteroid injection for Morton's neuroma.
Studies with a publication date of 1960 or later were eligible, and searches were performed within the Turning Research Into Practice database; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials; the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Specialised Register; MEDLINE (Ovid); PubMed; Embase; Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature; and the gray literature. Study selection criteria included randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials where a single corticosteroid injection for Morton's neuroma pain was investigated. The primary outcome was Morton's neuroma pain as measured by any standard validated pain scale.
Ten studies involving 695 participants were included. The quality of the studies was considered low and subject to bias. Of the included studies, five compared corticosteroid injection to usual care, one compared corticosteroid injection to local anesthetic alone, one compared ultrasound-guided to non–ultrasound-guided injections, three compared corticosteroid injections to surgery, one compared small to large neuromas, six assessed patient satisfaction, four measured adverse events, one studied return to work, and one examined failure of the corticosteroid injection to improve pain. Overall, these studies identified a moderate short- to medium-term benefit of corticosteroid injections on the primary outcome of pain and a low adverse event rate.
A single corticosteroid injection appears to have a beneficial short- to medium-term effect on Morton's neuroma pain. It appears superior to usual care, but its superiority to local anaesthetic alone is questionable, and it is inferior to surgical excision. A very low adverse event rate was noted throughout the studies, indicating the intervention is safe when used for Morton's neuroma. However, the quality of the evidence is low, and these findings may change with further research.
Achilles tendon rupture is a common athletic injury that results in a painful and antalgic gait. Flexor hallucis longus tendon transfer through arthroscopic, single-incision, or double-incision techniques is used as a treatment approach to address this rupture; however, no studies have compared postoperative complications between these three techniques. A systematic search of published articles was conducted using keywords “Achilles rupture,” “flexor hallucis tendon,” “transfer,” and “recovery.” Articles were then selected based on their title, abstract, and content following full-text review. From each article's reported surgical outcomes, a comparison was made between arthroscopic and single- and double-incision postoperative complications using a χ2 test with significance set at a value of P < .05 followed by post hoc analysis. The arthroscopic approach maintained the lowest rate of postoperative complications, followed by the single- and double-incision techniques. A significant difference in the number of postoperative complications was found between all incisional approaches. The pairwise comparisons, however, could not identify which incisional approaches significantly differed between each other. A reduction in postoperative complications places arthroscopy and the single-incision techniques as the preferred approaches for flexor hallucis longus tendon transfer following an Achilles tendon rupture. Although current literature shows arthroscopy to be superior to single- and double-incision methods, this review demonstrates the need for a greater number of published cases using arthroscopy to establish significance regarding postoperative complications.
Studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of dehydrated human amnion chorion membrane (dHACM) in treating recalcitrant diabetic foot ulcers. A literature search was performed to review the data collected from the use of dHACM allografts. Two products were explicitly named in these publications, EpiFix and AmnioBand Membrane. Relevant results included the healing rate, number of wounds healed, and number of grafts used. Data had supported the potential of lowering the overall cost to manage a wound despite a relatively higher cost per dressing. However, discrepancy was observed in the rate of healing between several of the studies. Nonetheless, dHACM had demonstrated improvement in healing of recalcitrant diabetic foot ulcers compared to standard of care alone. These results provide grounds for more inclusive research on dHACM in the future.
This literature review sought to evaluate the current state of knowledge and guidelines surrounding the role of pH in the recovery of chronic nonhealing wounds. A systematic review of PubMed examining the relationship between pH and wound healing was completed. Seven sources were retrieved for review. The development of a highly structured and reproducible system of pH-driven therapy may add to the treatment algorithm for chronic nonhealing wounds.
Retronychia is an uncommonly reported condition among the category of nail pathologies. It often presents mimicking similar nail disorders, such as onychocryptosis, onychomycosis, and paronychia. This pathologic condition has recently seen an increased presence in the literature, mainly in the form of case studies. Literature on retronychia was collected using PubMed, the US National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health's online database, life science journals, and online books. References cited by these articles were also reviewed for additional relevant publications. Reviews, case studies, and retrospective articles were compiled and analyzed for commonalities in cause, patient demographics, clinical signs, and treatment. Retronychia may be more common than previously suggested. Proper knowledge and education of this pathologic nail condition is important to health-care professionals to achieve early and correct diagnosis.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that targets several tissues and organs and plays an important role in calcium homeostasis. Vitamin D deficiency is common, particularly at higher latitudes, where there is reduced exposure to ultraviolet B radiation. We reviewed the role of vitamin D and its deficiency in foot and ankle pathology.
The effects of vitamin D deficiency have been extensively studied, but only a small portion of the literature has focused on the foot and ankle. Most evidence regarding the foot and ankle consists of retrospective studies, which cannot determine whether vitamin D deficiency is, in fact, the cause of the pathologies being investigated.
The available evidence suggests that insufficient vitamin D levels may result in an increased incidence of foot and ankle fractures. The effects of vitamin D deficiency on fracture healing, bone marrow edema syndrome, osteochondral lesions of the talus, strength around the foot and ankle, tendon disorders, elective foot and ankle surgery, and other foot and ankle conditions are less clear.
Based on the available evidence, we cannot recommend routine testing or supplementation of vitamin D in patients with foot and ankle pathology. However, supplementation is cheap, safe, and may be of benefit in patients at high risk for deficiency. When vitamin D is supplemented, the evidence suggests that calcium should be co-supplemented. Further high-quality research is needed into the effect of vitamin D in the foot and ankle. Cost-benefit analyses of routine testing and supplementation of vitamin D for foot and ankle pathology are also required.
Onychomycosis is a chronic fungal infection of the nail that is recalcitrant to treatment. It is unclear why normally effective antifungal therapy results in low cure rates. Evidence suggests that there may be a plethora of reasons that include the limited immune presence in the nail, reduced circulation, presence of commensal microbes, and fungal influence on immune signaling. Therefore, treatment should be designed to address these possibilities and work synergistically with both the innate and adaptive immune responses.
The effect of lower-extremity pathology and surgical intervention on automobile driving function has been a topic of contemporary interest in the medical literature. The objective of this review was to summarize the topic of driving function in the setting of lower-extremity impairment. Included studies involved lower-extremity immobilization devices, elective and traumatic lower-limb surgery, chronic musculoskeletal pathology, and diabetes as it relates to the foot and ankle, focusing on the effect each may have on driving function. We also discuss the basic US state regulations with respect to impaired driving and changes to automobile structure that can be made in the setting of lower-extremity pathology.