Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a useful tool for many conditions within the scope of practice of a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). More wound-care clinics are adding HBOT as a service line. The increasing prevalence of DPMs operating inside of these wound-care clinics has raised questions about the licensure and privileging of DPMs to supervise HBOT. This document reviews the safety of outpatient HBOT and provides guidelines for hospitals to credential DPMs to supervise treatments.
Poorly fitting footwear has frequently been cited as an etiologic factor in the pathway to diabetic foot ulceration. However, we are unaware of any reports in the medical literature specifically measuring shoe size versus foot size in this high-risk population. We assessed the prevalence of poorly fitting footwear in individuals with and without diabetic foot ulceration. We evaluated the shoe size of 440 consecutive patients (94.1% male; mean ± SD age, 67.2 ± 12.5 years) presenting to an interdisciplinary teaching clinic. Of this population, 58.4% were diagnosed as having diabetes, and 6.8% had active diabetic foot ulceration. Only 25.5% of the patients were wearing appropriately sized shoes. Individuals with diabetic foot ulceration were 5.1 times more likely to have poorly fitting shoes than those without a wound (93.3% versus 73.2%; odds ratio [OR], 5.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–21.9; P = .02). This association was also evident when assessing only the 32.3% of the total population with diabetes and loss of protective sensation (93.3% versus 75.0%; OR, 4.8; 95% CI, 1.1–20.9; P = .04). Poorly fitting shoes seem to be more prevalent in people with diabetic foot wounds than in those without wounds with or without peripheral neuropathy. This implies that appropriate meticulous screening for shoe-foot mismatches may be useful in reducing the risk of lower-extremity ulceration. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(4): 290–292, 2006)
This study compares the potential benefit of fifth metatarsal head resection versus standard conservative treatment of plantar ulcerations in people with diabetes mellitus. Using a retrospective cohort model, we abstracted data from 40 patients (22 cases and 18 controls) treated for uninfected, nonischemic diabetic foot wounds beneath the fifth metatarsal head. There were no significant differences in sex, age, duration of diabetes mellitus, or degree of glucose control between cases and controls. Patients who underwent a fifth metatarsal head resection healed significantly faster (mean ± SD, 5.8 ± 2.9 versus 8.7 ± 4.3 weeks). Patients were much less likely to reulcerate during the period of evaluation in the surgical group (4.5% versus 27.8%). The results of this study suggest that fifth metatarsal head resection is a potentially effective treatment in patients at high risk of ulceration and reulceration. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(4): 353–356, 2005)
There is increasing pressure from industry to use advanced wound care products and technologies. Many are very expensive but promise to reduce overall costs associated with wound care. Compelling anecdotal evidence is provided that inevitably shows wounds that failed all other treatments but responded positively to the subject product. Evidence-based medicine is the standard by which physician-scientists must make their clinical care decisions. In an attempt to provide policy makers with the most current evidence on advanced wound care products, the Department of Veteran Affairs conducted an Evidence-based Synthesis Program review of advanced wound care products. This paper suggests how to take this information and apply it to policy to drive evidence-based care to improve outcomes and fiduciary responsibility.
Desmoplastic fibroblastomas are benign and uncommon soft-tissue tumors. They are typically slow-growing, painless masses found in adult men. Rapidly growing masses have been previously reported, but are more rare. A 56-year-old man presented with a rapidly growing mass in his left foot, which was diagnosed as a desmoplastic fibroblastoma after pathologic evaluation. Although many case reports have been published in the dermatology literature, it is important to be aware of this benign neoplasm to avoid confusion with other rapidly growing malignant soft-tissue masses reported in the podiatry literature.
Maggot debridement therapy is rapidly increasing in popularity at major diabetic foot and wound care centers worldwide. However, we are unaware of specific guidelines on the short-term storage of larvae. We sought to evaluate differences in maggot motility over time in larvae refrigerated versus those stored at room temperature. We also introduce a simple surrogate method for evaluating maggot vitality that may be useful for in vivo studies if validated in future works. We randomly selected ten larvae from the same shipment at ten different times in 9 days. Larvae were placed on a translucent acetate grid, and their total excursion in 30 sec was measured. This was converted into a Maggot Motility Index. In the refrigerated group, the index remained at or above 40 mm/min for approximately 60 hours from baseline, when there was a significant decrease. This same phenomenon occurred during the first 12 hours in the nonrefrigerated group. There were significant differences in motility between refrigerated and nonrefrigerated larvae immediately after baseline until day 8. Larvae are more practical for repeated clinical use if kept refrigerated between applications. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(4): 353–355, 2004)
Background: We evaluated the cost of treating neuroischemic ulcers of the lower extremity in patients with peripheral artery disease by using medical and hospital claims records submitted for reimbursement to payers (private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid).
Methods: Adjudicated claims and remittance data on claims that include submitted charges, line items paid by insurers directly to providers and patient payments of copays, deductibles and co-insurance were used. Eligible patients from a commercial database containing more than 60% of US patients with health insurance were analyzed. Patient selection, performed using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) codes, yielded a study population of 42,837 unique anonymized patients.
Results: Using the metric of “submitted charges” to overcome differences in levels of reimbursement across insurance payers and Medicare/Medicaid, we identified 34,348 patients with ulcers with an average treatment cost of $94,100 per patient ($41,800 annualized) The costliest ulcer subtype was nonpressure ulcer of the heel/midfoot among 13,184 patients with $121,400 per patient ($53,900 annualized), 29% higher than across all ulcer types. The subset of 22,281 ulcer patients who also had a surgical procedure incurred costs of $121,000 per patient ($53,800 annualized). The costliest surgical codes were complications of vascular prosthetic devices, implants, grafts among 6444 patients with $146,900 per patient ($65,300 annualized). The combination of most expensive ulcer and most expensive surgery yielded a cohort of 2355 patients with the highest average cost of $177,400 per patient ($78,800 annualized).
Conclusions: The resource burden for management of neuroischemic ulcers of the lower extremity in patients with peripheral artery disease is substantial. Mitigating this burden may help reduce significant resource utilization.
This review discusses some of the significant studies and events from the 61st American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Symposium. Many of the issues raised at the meeting will form building blocks for future research into offloading, footwear, wound classification, wound healing, tissue engineering, and psychological aspects of therapy and prevention. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(1): 2-6, 2002)