Background: Chronic nonhealing pressure ulcers of the heel in nursing homes are frequent occurrences among bedridden patients with lower-extremity contractures of varying degrees of severity. Conservative local wound care for these patients can be time consuming, ineffective, costly, and may only delay an eventual major leg amputation. This study evaluates the efficacy of limb salvage surgical procedures, partial calcanectomy, total calcanectomy, and excision of the entire calcaneus and talus, for heel ulcers.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of 57 nursing home residents who had chronic infected nonhealing pressure ulcers of the heel that we had treated over 12 years. Forty-three patients underwent partial calcanectomy, nine underwent total calcanectomy, and five underwent excision of the entire calcaneus and talus. Average postoperative follow-up was 15 months. Also included in this study are representative surgical cases.
Results: Forty-three patients completed follow-up. Complete healing occurred in 25 patients (58%). Failure to resolve the heel ulcer owing to persistent infection, or recurrence was seen in 18 patients (42%) who eventually had a below-the-knee or above-the-knee amputation. All of the patients with heel pressure ulcers were found to have lower-extremity contractures.
Conclusions: In the nonambulatory contracted patient with a heel ulcer, partial or total calcanectomy or excision of the entire calcaneus and talus offer a viable alternative not only for resolution of infection but also for prevention of limb loss. An aggressive plan must also be instituted to address the lower-extremity contractures in order to prevent recurrence. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 167–175, 2011)
The purpose of this article is to present reference guidelines to assist clinicians when treating diabetic patients with foot wounds. Diabetic patients with limb-threatening foot ulcers often have multiple coexisting medical conditions that frequently become impediments to the resolution of foot wounds. Each foot wound is unique and its etiology is multifactorial; therefore, each foot wound should be managed differently. The treatment algorithm presented in this article is divided into three categories: Algorithm I describes the treatment of septic foot wounds, which may be considered true podiatric surgical emergencies; Algorithm II describes the treatment of ischemic foot ulcers or gangrene with or without underlying osteomyelitis; and Algorithm III describes the treatment of neuropathic foot ulcers with or without underlying osteomyelitis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(6): 336-349, 2002)
The comorbidities of diabetes mellitus were evaluated in an Asian American population with podiatric symptoms living in southern California. The three most common nonpedal complaints in men were blurred vision (73.6%), hypertension (64.1%), and erectile dysfunction (52.3%) and in women were blurred vision (84.5%), incontinence (71.5%), and low-back pain with radiculopathy-like symptoms (56.5%). The most significant finding was that only 3.2% of all patients had any previous knowledge or understanding of the risks of foot infection, ulceration, and amputation secondary to diabetes mellitus. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus in ethnic populations once considered practically exempt continues to rise steadily, and Asians living in the United States are becoming casualties of diabetes mellitus and its complications. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(1): 37-41, 2003)