Microvascular dysfunction is an important component of the pathologic processes that occur in diabetic foot disease. The endothelial abnormalities observed in patients with diabetes mellitus are poorly understood, and evidence suggests that endothelial dysfunction could be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic macroangiopathy and microangiopathy. With the advent of insulin replacement in the early 1900s and increased efforts toward metabolic control of diabetes, long-term complications of this disease have become apparent. These late-term complications are primarily disorders of the vascular system. This article reviews the process of microvascular dysfunction and how it may relate to the pathogenesis of diabetic foot problems. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(3): 245–252, 2006)
Background: We sought to evaluate clinicians’ compliance with national guidelines for tetanus vaccination prophylaxis in patients with high-risk feet.
Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 114 consecutive patients between June 1, 2011, and March 31, 2019, who presented to the emergency department with a foot infection resulting from a puncture injury. Eighty-three patients had diabetes mellitus and 31 patients did not have diabetes mellitus. Electronic medical records were used to collect a broad range of study data on patient demographics, medical history, tetanus immunization history and tetanus status on presentation to the emergency department, peripheral arterial disease, sensory neuropathy, laboratory values, and clinical/surgical outcomes.
Results: Of the 114 patients who presented to the emergency department with a puncture wound, 53 (46.5%) did not have up-to-date tetanus immunization. Of those patients, 79.2% received a tetanus-containing vaccine booster, 3.8% received intramuscular tetanus immunoglobulin, 3.8% received both a tetanus-containing vaccine booster and tetanus immunoglobulins, and 20.8% received no form of tetanus prophylaxis. Comparing data between patients with and without diabetes mellitus, there were no statistically significant differences in tetanus prophylaxis.
Conclusions: Guidelines for tetanus prophylaxis among high-risk podiatric medical patients in this study center are not followed in all patients. Patients with diabetes mellitus are at high risk for exposure to tetanus; therefore, we recommend that physicians take a detailed tetanus immunization history and vaccinate patients if the tetanus history is unclear.
Motivational Interviewing by Podiatric Physicians
A Method for Improving Patient Self-care of the Diabetic Foot
Foot ulceration and lower-extremity amputation are devastating end-stage complications of diabetes. Despite agreement that diabetic foot self-care is a key factor in prevention of ulcers and amputation, there has only been limited success in influencing these behaviors among patients with diabetes. While most efforts have focused on increasing patient knowledge, knowledge and behavior are poorly correlated. Knowledge is necessary but rarely sufficient for behavior change. A key determinant to adherence to self-care behavior is clinician counseling style. Podiatrists are the ideal providers to engage in a brief behavioral intervention with a patient. Motivational interviewing is a well-accepted, evidence-based teachable approach that enhances self-efficacy and increases intrinsic motivation for change and adherence to treatment. This article summarizes some key strategies that can be employed by podiatrists to improve foot self-care. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(1): 78–84, 2011)
This study examined the incidence of high peak plantar pressure and plantar callus in 211 adolescents with diabetes mellitus and 57 nondiabetic controls. The percentage of subjects with these anomalies was the same in both groups. Although diabetic subjects were no more likely than nondiabetic controls to have high peak plantar pressure and callus, these anomalies place individuals with diabetes at greater risk of future foot problems. The effects of orthoses, cushioning, and both in combination were monitored in 17 diabetic subjects with high peak plantar pressure and in 17 diabetic subjects with plantar callus; reductions of up to 63% were achieved. Twelve-month follow-up of diabetic subjects fitted with orthoses showed a significant reduction in peak plantar pressure even when the orthoses were removed. The diabetic subjects who had not received any interventions during the same 12-month period showed no significant change in peak plantar pressure. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(3): 214-220, 2003)
Background: People with diabetic foot ulcers report poor quality of life. However, prospective studies that chart quality of life from the onset of diabetic foot ulcers are lacking. We describe change in quality of life in a cohort of people with diabetes and their first foot ulcer during 18 months and its association with adverse outcomes.
Methods: In this prospective cohort study of adults with their first diabetic foot ulcer, the main outcome was change in Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short Form Health Survey scores between baseline and 18-month follow-up. We recorded baseline demographics, diabetes characteristics, depression, and diabetic foot outcomes and mortality at 18 months.
Results: In 253 people with diabetes and their first ulcer, there were 40 deaths (15.8%), 36 amputations (15.5%), 99 recurrences (43.2%), and 52 nonhealing ulcers (21.9%). The 36-Item Short Form Health Survey response rate of survivors at 18 months was 78% (n = 157). There was a 5- to 6-point deterioration in mental component summary scores in people who did not heal (adjusted mean difference, −6.54; 95% confidence interval, −12.64 to −0.44) or had recurrent ulcers (adjusted mean difference, −5.30; 95% confidence interval, −9.87 to −0.73) and a nonsignificant reduction in those amputated (adjusted mean difference, −5.00; 95% confidence interval, −11.15 to 1.14).
Conclusions: Quality of life deteriorates in people with diabetes whose first foot ulcer recurs or does not heal within 18 months. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(5): 406–414, 2009)
Background: Diabetic foot care has yet to be enhanced in a universal health-care system in which specialized podiatric medical services are unavailable. This baseline assessment surveyed diabetic patients attending group education to improve current foot-care practices.
Methods: Of 302 diabetic patients receiving usual outpatient care, 155 received group patient education on general diabetes-related information, which included foot care and an annual checkup by a diabetes association during the previous 2 years, and 147 did not. Patient foot-care behaviors, physician practice patterns, and patient self-perceived foot risk as cross-checked with the neurologic and vascular assessments were investigated by conducting retrospective medical record reviews and structured interviews.
Results: More than half of the patients in both groups reported inappropriate self-care behaviors (eg, walking barefoot and heating or soaking their feet). The percentages of patients receiving documented examinations and referrals for foot problems were low in both groups and were not significantly different. Among at-risk patients, 56% of the diabetes association group but only 30% of the non–diabetes association group perceived themselves to be at risk for future foot problems (P < .01).
Conclusions: Many diabetic patients were not offered adequate foot-specific information during group lectures, even those with high-risk foot problems. To improve this, combining caregiver and patient education in foot-care practices is important, and systems of networked multidisciplinary professionals are believed to be needed, particularly in delivering customized interventions to at-risk patients based on the initial evaluation. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(4): 295–300, 2009)
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)
Background: We sought to study the impact of foot complications on 10-year mortality independent of other demographic and biological risk factors in a racially and socioeconomically diverse managed-care population with access to high-quality medical care.
Methods: We studied 6,992 patients with diabetes in Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD), a prospective observational study of diabetes care in managed care. Foot complications were assessed using administrative claims data. The National Death Index was searched for deaths across 10 years of follow-up (2000-2009).
Results: Charcot's neuro-osteoarthropathy and diabetic foot ulcer with debridement were associated with an increased risk of mortality; however, the associations were not significant in fully adjusted models. Lower-extremity amputation (LEA) was associated with an increased risk of mortality in unadjusted (hazard ratio [HR], 3.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.50–4.12) and fully adjusted (HR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.28–2.63) models. When we examined the associations between LEA and mortality stratified by sex and race, risk was increased in men (HR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.25–3.07), Hispanic individuals (HR, 5.17; 95% CI, 1.48–18.01), and white individuals (HR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.37–3.47). In sensitivity analyses, minor LEA tended to increase the risk of mortality (HR, 1.48; 95% CI, 0.92–2.40), and major LEA was associated with a significantly higher risk of death at 10 years (HR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.18–3.01).
Conclusions: In this managed-care population with access to high-quality medical care, LEA remained a robust independent predictor of mortality. The association was strongest in men and differed by race.
Homeless people live in poverty, with limited access to public health services. They are likely to experience chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes mellitus; however, they do not always receive the necessary services to prevent complications. This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of a volunteer health service outreach to reduce disparity in diabetic foot care for homeless people.
The research was conducted on 21 patients with diabetic ulcers of 930 homeless people visited between 2008 and 2013. Each ulcer was treated with regular medication every week for a mean ± SD of 17.6 ± 12 months. The inclusion criteria were 1) homeless with a previous diagnosis of diabetes or a blood glucose level greater than 126 mg/dL at first check and 2) foot ulcer caused by diabetic vasculopathy or neuropathy. The efficacy of the interventions was assessed against the number of successfully cured diabetic feet based on a reduced initial Wagner classification score for each ulcer.
Clinical improvement was observed in 18 patients (86%), whose pathologic condition was completely resolved after 3 years and, therefore, no longer needed medication. One patient died of septic shock and kidney failure, and two patients needed amputation owing to clinical worsening of ulcers (Wagner class 4 at the last visit).
Most homeless people who have diabetes and diabetic foot encounter many difficulties managing their disease, and a volunteer health-care unit could be a suitable option to bridge these gaps.
Foot pain and lower-limb neuroischemia in diabetes mellitus is common and can be debilitating and difficult to treat. We report a comparison of orthotic materials to manage foot pain in a 59-year-old man with type 1 diabetes mellitus, peripheral neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease, and a history of foot ulceration. We investigated a range of in-shoe foot orthoses for comfort and plantar pressure reduction in a cross-sectional study. The most comfortable and most effective pressure-reducing orthoses were subsequently evaluated for pain relief in a single system alternating-treatment design. After 9 weeks, foot pain was completely resolved with customized multidensity foot orthoses. The outcome of this case study suggests that customized multidensity foot orthoses may be a useful intervention to reduce foot pain and maintain function in the neuroischemic diabetic foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(2): 143–148, 2008)