Diabetes-related foot ulcers are a leading cause of global morbidity, mortality, and health-care costs. People with a history of foot ulcers have a diminished quality of life attributed to limited walking and mobility. One of the largest concerns is ulceration recurrence. Approximately 40% of patients with ulcerations will have a recurrent ulcer in the year after healing, and most occur in the first 3 months after wound healing. Hence, this period after ulceration is called “remission” due to this risk of reulceration. Promoting and fostering mobility is an integral part of everyday life and is important for maintaining good physical health and health-related quality of life for all people living with diabetes. In this short perspective, we provide recommendations on how to safely increase walking activity and facilitate appropriate off-loading and monitoring in people with a recently healed foot ulcer, foot reconstruction, or partial foot amputation. Interventions include monitored activity training, dosed out in steadily increasing increments and coupled with daily skin temperature monitoring, which can identify dangerous “hotspots” prone to recurrence. By understanding areas at risk, patients are empowered to maximize ulcer-free days and to enable an improved quality of life. This perspective outlines a unified strategy to treat patients in the remission period after ulceration and aims to provide clinicians with appropriate patient recommendations based on best available evidence and expert opinion to educate their patients to ensure a safe transition to footwear and return to activity.
Google Trends proves to be a novel tool to ascertain the level of public interest in pathology and treatments. From anticipating nascent epidemics with data-driven prevention campaigns to identifying interest in cosmetic or bariatric surgery, Google Trends provides physicians real-time insight into the latest consumer trends.
We used Google Trends to identify temporal trends and variation in the search volume index of four groups of keywords that assessed practitioner-nomenclature inquiries, in addition to podiatric-specific searches for pain, traumatic injury, and common podiatric pathology over a 10-year period. The Mann-Kendall trend test was used to determine a trend in the series, and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to determine whether there was a significant difference between summer and winter season inquiries. Significance was set at P ≤ .05.
The terms “podiatrist” and “foot doctor” experienced increasing Search Volume Index (SVI) and seasonal variation, whereas the terms “foot surgeon” and “podiatric surgeon” experienced no such increase. “Foot pain,” “heel pain,” “toe pain,” and “ankle pain” experienced a significant increase in SVI, with “foot pain” maintaining the highest SVI at all times. Similar results were seen with the terms “foot fractures,” “bunion,” “ingrown toenail,” and “heel spur.” These terms all experienced statistically significant increasing trends; moreover, the SVI was significantly higher in the summer than in the winter for each of these terms.
The results of this study show the utility in illustrating seasonal variation in Internet interest of pathologies today's podiatrist commonly encounters. By identifying the popularity and seasonal variation of practitioner- and pathology-specific search inquiries, resources can be allocated to effectively address current public inquiries. With this knowledge, providers can learn what podiatric-specific interests are trending in their local communities and market their practice accordingly throughout the year.
This English translation of the 1909 letter by the internationally recognized orthopedic surgeon Hans von Baeyer fills a gap in our knowledge of the history of the practical treatment of metatarsalgia.
Underlying bone metabolic disorders are often neglected when managing acute fractures. The term fracture liaison services (FLS) refers to models of care with the designated responsibility of comprehensive fracture management, including the diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. Although there is evidence of the effectiveness of FLS in reducing health-care costs and improving patient outcomes, podiatric practitioners are notably absent from described FLS models. The integration of podiatric practitioners into FLS programs may lead to improved patient care and further reduce associated health-care costs.
Plantar heel pain is often managed through podiatric and physical therapy interventions. Numerous differential diagnoses may be implicated in patients presenting with plantar heel pain; however, symptoms are often attributed to plantar fasciitis. Abductor hallucis, flexor digitorum brevis, and quadratus plantae share proximal anatomic attachment sites and mechanical function with the plantar fascia. Although these plantar intrinsic muscles each perform isolated digital actions based on fiber orientation and attachment sites, they function collectively to resist depression of the lateral and medial longitudinal arches of the foot. Overuse injury is the primary contributing factor in tendinopathy. The close anatomic proximity and mechanical function of these muscles relative to the plantar fascia suggests potential for proximal plantar intrinsic tendinopathy as a result of repetitive loading during gait and other weightbearing activities. To date, this diagnosis has not been proposed in the scientific literature. Future studies should seek to confirm or refute the existence of proximal plantar intrinsic tendinopathic changes in patients with acute and chronic plantar heel pain through diagnostic imaging studies, analysis of lactate concentration in pathologic versus nonpathologic tendons, and response to specific podiatric and physical therapy interventions germane to tendinopathy of these muscles.
It has been more than 14 years since identification of the human genome. This phenomenon is creating a revolution in all components of the health-care world. To date, little has been included in the podiatric medical literature despite the fact that so many of the conditions affecting the pedal extremity have genomic implications. Genomics will have a major effect on prevention, diagnosis, and patient management and needs to be included in podiatric medical practice as well as in the curriculum of podiatric medical schools.
Hallux valgus is the most common orthopedic problem of the adult foot. The etiology can be congenital, associated with the occurrence of metatarsus primus varus, or acquired, which is closely related to wearing ill-fitting shoes. Hallux valgus occurs almost exclusively in shod societies and, therefore, is a very uncommon finding in archaeological remains. We present a partial first ray of the left foot belonging to a dismembered Egyptian mummy recovered in the necropolis of Sharuna (Middle Egypt) and dated to the end of the Old Kingdom (circa 2100 BC). The mummification process led to a metatarsophalangeal joint in connection by means of soft tissues. The alignment of this joint could be diagnosed as a hallux valgus. Further examination showed a metatarsophalangeal angle of 28°. After a comprehensive literature search and noting that all of the previous cases were described by indirect factors, such as mounting the joint in dry bones, we can state with certainty that the piece we present herein is the oldest case of mummified hallux valgus.
Both vascular surgeons and podiatric physicians care for patients with diabetic foot ulcerations (DFUs), one of today's most challenging health-care populations in the United States. The prevalence of DFUs has steadily increased, along with the rising costs associated with care. Because of the numerous comorbidities affecting these patients, it is necessary to take a multidisciplinary approach in the management of these patients. Such efforts, primarily led by podiatric physicians and vascular surgeons, have been shown to effectively decrease major limb loss. Establishing an interprofessional partnership between vascular surgery and podiatric medicine can lead to an improvement in the delivery of care and outcomes of this vulnerable patient population.
Onychomycosis is a fungal infection, and, as such, one of the goals of treatment should be eradication of the infective agent. Despite this, in contrast to dermatologists, many podiatric physicians do not include antifungals in their onychomycosis treatment plans. Before initiating treatment, confirmation of mycologic status via laboratory testing (eg, microscopy with potassium hydroxide preparation, histopathology with periodic acid–Schiff staining, fungal culture, and polymerase chain reaction) is important; however, more podiatric physicians rely solely on clinical signs than do dermatologists. These dissimilarities may be due, in part, to differences between specialties in training, reimbursement patterns, or practice orientation, and to explore these differences further, a joint podiatric medicine–dermatology roundtable was convened. In addition, treatment options have been limited owing to safety concerns with available oral antifungals and relatively low efficacy with previously available topical treatments. Recently approved topical treatments—efinaconzole and tavaborole—offer additional options for patients with mild-to-moderate disease. Debridement alone has no effect on mycologic status, and it is recommended that it be used in combination with an oral or topical antifungal. There is little to no clinical evidence to support the use of lasers or over-the-counter treatments for onychomycosis. After a patient has achieved cure (absence of clinical signs or absence of fungus with minimal clinical signs), lifestyle and hygiene measures, prophylactic/maintenance treatment, and proactive treatment for tinea pedis, including in family members, may help maintain this status.