Charcot’s arthropathy is a devastating condition affecting diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy, resulting in a foot at risk for ulceration and amputation. Early diagnosis is important for the institution of appropriate treatment, which may help prevent disease progression and foot deformity. This article discusses the pathogenesis and treatment options available for the disorder. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(7): 381-383, 2002)
Background: Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are the main cause of hospitalizations and amputations in diabetic patients. Failure of standard foot care is the most important cause of impaired DFU healing. Dakin’s solution (DS) is a promising broad-spectrum bactericidal antiseptic for management of DFUs. Studies investigating the efficacy of using DS on the healing process of DFUs are scarce. Accordingly, this is the first evidence-based, randomized, controlled trial conducted to evaluate the effect of using diluted DS compared with the standard care in the management of infected DFUs.
Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted to assess the efficacy of DS in the management of infected DFUs. Patients were distributed randomly to the control group (DFUs irrigated with normal saline) or the intervention group (DFUs irrigated with 0.1% DS). Patients were followed for at least 24 weeks for healing, reinfection, or amputations. In vitro antimicrobial testing on DS was performed, including determination of its minimum inhibitory concentration, minimum bactericidal concentration, minimum biofilm inhibitory concentration, minimum biofilm eradication concentration, and suspension test.
Results: Replacing normal saline irrigation in DFU standard care with 0.1% DS followed by soaking the ulcer with commercial sodium hypochlorite (0.08%) after patient discharge significantly improved ulcer healing (P < .001) and decreased the number of amputations and hospitalizations (P < .001). The endpoint of death from any cause (risk ratio, 0.13; P = .029) and the amputation rate (risk ratio, 0.27; P < .001) were also significantly reduced. The effect on ulcer closure (OR, 11.9; P < .001) was significantly enhanced in comparison with the control group. Moreover, DS irrigation for inpatients significantly decreased bacterial load (P < .001). The highest values for the in-vitro analysis of DS were as follows: minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), 1.44%; minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC), 1.44%; minimum biofilm inhibitory concentration (MBIC), 2.16%; and minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC), 2.87%.
Conclusions: Compared with standard care, diluted DS (0.1%) was more effective in the management of infected DFUs. Dakin’s solution (0.1%) irrigation with debridement followed by standard care is a promising method in the management of infected DFUs.
The scope of podiatric practice has changed significantly in the past couple of decades. Despite the increased quality of training, many people outside of podiatry may not realize what our scope of practice entails.
We conducted a survey consisting of 10 items and asked internal medicine residents at Rush University Medical Center and patients whether they would feel comfortable consulting podiatrists, or being treated for each issue.
The results for residents are as follows: 1) toenail fungus, 35% yes and 65% no; 2) diabetic wound care, 87.5% yes and 12.5% no; 3) bunion surgery, 90% yes and 10% no; 4) ankle fracture surgery, 25% yes and 75% no; 5) calcaneal fracture surgery, 50% yes and 50% no; 6) tarsal tunnel nerve surgery, 62.5% yes and 37.5% no; 7) lower extremity arterial bypass, 5% yes and 95% no; 8) below-knee amputation, 5% yes and 95% no; 9) transmetatarsal amputation, 67.5% yes and 32.5% no; and 10) venous stasis wound care, 65% yes and 35% no. The results for patients are as follows: 1) toenail fungus, 72.5% yes and 27.5% no; 2) diabetic wound care, 70% yes and 30% no; 3) bunion surgery, 62.5% yes and 37.5% no; 4) ankle fracture surgery, 57.5% yes and 42.5% no; 5) calcaneal fracture surgery, 55% yes and 45% no; 6) tarsal tunnel nerve surgery, 50% yes and 50% no; 7) lower extremity arterial bypass, 32.5% yes and 67.5% no; 8) below-knee amputation, 27.5% yes and 72.5% no; 9) transmetatarsal amputation, 52.5% yes and 47.5% no; and 10) venous stasis wound care, 32.5% yes and 67.5% no.
Internal medicine residents and patients do not have an accurate perception of the scope of podiatric medicine. This proves that, as a profession, we need to raise awareness about what the podiatric scope of medicine actually entails.
We assessed the efficacy of customized foot orthotic therapy by comparing reulceration rates, minor amputation rates, and work and daily living activities before and after therapy. Peak plantar pressures and peak plantar impulses were compared with the patients not wearing and wearing their prescribed footwear.
One hundred seventeen patients with diabetes were prescribed therapeutic insoles and footwear based on the results of a detailed biomechanical study and were followed for 2 years. All of the patients had a history of foot ulcers, but none had undergone previous orthotic therapy.
Before treatment, the reulceration rate was 79% and the amputation rate was 54%. Two years after the start of orthotic therapy, the reulceration rate was 15% and the amputation rate was 6%. Orthotic therapy reduced peak plantar pressures in patients with reulcerations and in those without (P < .05), although a significant decrease in peak plantar impulses was achieved only in patients not experiencing reulceration. Sick leave was reduced from 100% to 26%.
Personalized orthotic therapy targeted at reducing plantar pressures by off-loading protects high-risk patients against reulceration. Treatment reduced the reulceration rate and peak plantar pressures, leading to patients’ return to work or other activities. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(4): 281-290, 2013)
Current recommendations for the prevention of foot ulceration and amputation include screening at-risk individuals by testing for loss of protective sensation at eight sites using 10-g (5.07) nylon monofilaments. Yet measurement of the cutaneous pressure threshold to differentiate one-point from two-point static touch stimuli may allow identification of these at-risk individuals earlier in the clinical course of diabetic neuropathy. The present study tested this hypothesis using a prospective, cross-sectional, multicenter design that included sensibility testing of 496 patients with diabetic neuropathy, 17 of whom had a history of ulceration or amputation. Considering the cutaneous pressure threshold of the 5.07 Semmes-Weinstein nylon monofilament to be equivalent to the 95 g/mm2 one-point static touch measured using the Pressure-Specified Sensory Device (Sensory Management Services LLC, Baltimore, Maryland), only 3 of these 17 patients with a history of foot ulceration or amputation would have been identified using the Semmes-Weinstein nylon monofilament screening technique. In contrast, using the Pressure-Specified Sensory Device, all 17 patients were identified as having abnormal sensibility, defined as greater than the 99% confidence limit for age, for two-point static touch on the hallux pulp. We conclude that patients at risk for foot ulceration can best be identified by actual measurement of the cutaneous sensibility of the hallux pulp. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(5): 469–474, 2005)
Neuropathic symptoms in patients with diabetes occur commonly and are most often a consequence of the diabetes. Up to 10% of patients with diabetes and neuropathy have an etiology other than diabetes as a cause of their nerve dysfunction. Herein we present a case of vasculitic neuropathy initially misdiagnosed as diabetic neuropathy that led to separate amputations of two toes. This case emphasizes the importance of considering alternative, potentially treatable, causes of peripheral neuropathy in patients with diabetes. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(4): 322–325, 2008)
Intralesional epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been available as a medication in Turkey since 2012. We present the results of our experience using intralesional EGF in Turkey for patients with diabetic foot wounds.
A total of 174 patients from 25 Turkish medical centers were evaluated for this retrospective study. We recorded the data on enrolled individuals on custom-designed patient follow-up forms. Patients received intralesional injections of 75 μg of EGF three times per week and were monitored daily for adverse reactions to treatment. Patients were followed up for varying periods after termination of EGF treatments.
Median treatment duration was 4 weeks, and median frequency of EGF administration was 12 doses. Complete response (granulation tissue >75% or wound closure) was observed in 116 patients (66.7%). Wounds closed with only EGF administration in 81 patients (46.6%) and in conjunction with various surgical interventions after EGF administration in 65 patients (37.3%). Overall, 146 of the wounds (83.9%) were closed at the end of therapy. Five patients (2.9%) required major amputation. Adverse effects were reported in 97 patients (55.7%).
In patients with diabetic foot ulcer who received standard care, additional intralesional EGF application after infection control provided high healing rates with low amputation rates.
Patients with diabetic neuropathy are subject to ulcerations that may be complicated by infection and gangrene, with subsequent risk of amputation. It is the job of the foot specialist to identify and manage these problems early to avoid the unfortunate complication of amputation regardless of the presenting condition of the patient’s limb. We shed light on the hypothesis that suggests that infection and gangrene in a diabetic patient aggravate the degree of ischemia (microvascular, macrovascular, or both) already present enough to endanger the viability of the surrounding tissues unless urgent drainage with decompression and debridement of the necrotic sloughs is performed, with consequent reduction of tissue pressure and improvement in circulation to the area. We present cases with severe infections leading to gangrene and ischemia, which were improved following surgical management with consequent improvement in tissue viability. In these cases, we demonstrate that immediate treatment of the wound despite the delayed presentation of the patients resulted in limb salvage with much less soft-tissue loss than expected before treatment. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(5): 454–458, 2009)
Synovial sarcoma of the extremities represents 7% of all soft-tissue sarcomas. This article presents the case of a patient who was treated for a synovial sarcoma of the lateral aspect of the distal lower leg extending to the ankle and involving the fibular bone. The patient underwent a wide excision of the tumor, including the fibular bone, followed by radiation and chemotherapy, rather than undergo an amputation of the right leg. Consideration is also given to the traumatic etiology of the tumor. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(2): 90-96, 2002)
Ill-fitting shoes may precipitate up to half of all diabetes-related amputations and are often cited as a leading cause of diabetic foot ulcers (DFU), with those patients being 5 to 10 times more likely to present wearing improperly fitting shoes. Among patients with prior DFU, those who self-select their shoe wear are at a three-fold risk for reulceration at 3 years versus those patients wearing prescribed shoes. Properly designed and fitted shoes should then address much of this problem, but evidence supporting the benefit of therapeutic shoe programs is inconclusive. The current study, performed in a male veteran population, is the first such effort to examine the prevalence and extent of change in foot length affecting individuals following skeletal maturity. Nearly half of all participants in our study experienced a ≥1 shoe size change in foot length during adulthood. We suggest that these often unrecognized changes may explain the broad use of improperly sized shoe wear, and its associated sequelae such as DFU and amputation. Regular clinical assessment of shoe fit in at-risk populations is therefore also strongly recommended as part of a comprehensive amputation prevention program.