This practice memo, a collaborative effort between the Young Physicians' Program of the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and the Young Surgeons Committee of the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS), is intended to aid podiatrists and vascular surgeons in the early years of their respective careers, especially those involved in the care of patients with chronic wounds. During these formative years, learning how to successfully establish an inter-professional partnership is crucial in order to provide the best possible care to this important patient population.
At the end of an anatomical peninsula, the foot in diabetes is prone to short- and long-term complications involving neuropathy, vasculopathy, and infection. Effective management requires an interdisciplinary effort focusing on this triad. Herein, we describe the key factors leading to foot complications and the critical skill sets required to assemble a team to care for them. Although specific attention is given to a conjoined model involving podiatric medicine and vascular surgery, the so-called toe and flow model, we further outline three separate programmatic models of care—basic, intermediate, and center of excellence—that can be implemented in the developed and developing world. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 342–348, 2010)
Diabetic foot care management is directed at patients with a history of complications, especially those with rising levels of hemoglobin A1c, and those who have had diabetes for several years. The aim of this study was to cross-culturally adapt a French-language version of the Diabetic Foot Self-care Questionnaire of the University of Malaga (DFSQ-UMA) for use in France.
Cross-cultural adaptation was performed according to relevant international guidelines (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research), and the factor structure was determined. Internal consistency was measured using the Cronbach α. Item-total and inter-item correlations were assessed.
The French data set comprised 146 patients. The mean ± SD patient age was 62.60 ± 15.47 years. There were 47 women and 99 men. The structure matrix (with three factors) was tested by confirmatory factor analysis. The 16-item questionnaire had a Cronbach α of 0.92. The mean value for inter-item correlations was 0.48 (range, 0.17–0.86). The rotated solution revealed a three-factor structure that accounted for 48.10% of the variance observed. A significant inverse correlation was observed between questionnaire scores and hemoglobin A1c levels (r = –0.17; P < .01).
This study validates the French-language version of the DFSQ-UMA, which can be used as a self-reported outcome measure for French-speaking patients in France.
This study evaluated the magnitude and location of activity of diabetic patients at high risk for foot amputation. Twenty subjects aged 64.6 ± 1.8 years with diabetes, neuropathy, deformity, or a history of lower-extremity ulceration or partial foot amputation were dispensed a continuous activity monitor and a log book to record time periods spent in and out of their homes for 1 week. The results indicate that patients took more steps per hour outside their home, but took more steps per day inside their homes. Although 85% of the patients wore their physician-approved shoes most or all of the time while they were outside their homes, only 15% continued to wear them at home. Focusing on protection of the foot during in-home ambulation may be an important factor on which to focus future multidisciplinary efforts to reduce the incidence of ulceration and amputation. The ability to continuously monitor the magnitude, duration, and time of activity ultimately may assist clinicians in dosing activity just as they dose drugs. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(9): 451-455, 2001)
There is an increased prevalence of foot ulceration in patients with diabetes, leading to hospitalization. Early wound closure is necessary to prevent further infections and, ultimately, lower-limb amputations. There is no current evidence stating that an elevated preoperative hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level is a contraindication to skin grafting. The purpose of this review was to determine whether elevated HbA1c levels are a contraindication to the application of skin grafts in diabetic patients.
A retrospective review was performed of 53 consecutive patients who underwent split-thickness skin graft application to the lower extremity between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2015. A uniform surgical technique was used across all of the patients. A comparison of HbA1c levels between failed and healed skin grafts was reviewed.
Of 43 surgical sites (41 patients) that met the inclusion criteria, 27 healed with greater than 90% graft take and 16 had a skin graft that failed. There was no statistically significant difference in HbA1c levels in the group that healed a skin graft compared with the group in which skin graft failed to adhere.
Preliminary data suggest that an elevated HbA1c level is not a contraindication to application of a skin graft. The benefits of early wound closure outweigh the risks of skin graft application in patients with diabetes.
Despite advancements in the treatment of diabetic patients with “at-risk” limbs, minor and major amputations remain commonplace. The diabetic population is especially prone to surgical complications from lower extremity amputation because of comorbidities such as renal disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, microvascular and macrovascular disease, and peripheral neuropathy. Complication occurrence may result in increases in hospital stay duration, unplanned readmission rate, mortality rate, number of operations, and incidence of infection. Skin flap necrosis and wound healing delay secondary to inadequate perfusion of soft tissues continues to result in significant morbidity, mortality, and cost to individuals and the health-care system. Intraoperative indocyanine green fluorescent angiography for the assessment of tissue perfusion may be used to assess tissue perfusion in this patient population to minimize complications associated with amputations. This technology provides real-time functional assessment of the macrovascular and microvascular systems in addition to arterial and venous flow to and from the flap soft tissues. This case study explores the use of indocyanine green fluorescent angiography for the treatment of a diabetic patient with a large dorsal and plantar soft-tissue deficit and need for transmetatarsal amputation with nontraditional rotational flap coverage. The authors theorize that the use of indocyanine green may decrease postoperative complications and cost to the health-care system through fewer readmissions and fewer procedures.
Neuropathic foot ulcers are a common complication in patients with diabetes. These ulcers are often slow to heal and can lead to infection, further tissue destruction, osteomyelitis, and amputation. These patients pose a challenge to clinicians who must determine the best treatment options while balancing the risks, benefits, and costs. Conservative therapies often present disappointing results, and a number of newer “biologic bandages” have been developed to better assist the healing process. We describe results from diabetic patients with neuropathic foot ulcers treated with a new amniotic membrane–based allograft.
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether high plantar foot pressures can be predicted from measurements of plantar soft-tissue thickness in the forefoot of diabetic patients with neuropathy. A total of 157 diabetic patients with neuropathy and at least one palpable foot pulse but without a history of foot ulceration were invited to participate in the study. Plantar tissue thickness was measured bilaterally at each metatarsal head, with patients standing on the same standardized platform. Plantar pressures were measured during barefoot walking using the optical pedobarograph. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to determine the plantar tissue thickness predictive of elevated peak plantar pressure. Tissue thickness cutoff values of 11.05, 7.85, 6.65, 6.55, and 5.05 mm for metatarsal heads 1 through 5, respectively, predict plantar pressure at each respective site greater than 700 kPa, with sensitivity between 73% and 97% and specificity between 52% and 84%. When tissue thickness was used to predict pressure greater than 1,000 kPa, similar results were observed, indicating that high pressure at different levels could be predicted from similar tissue thickness cutoff values. The results of the study indicate that high plantar pressure can be predicted from plantar tissue thickness with high sensitivity and specificity. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(1): 39-42, 2004)
Background: Diabetic lower-extremity disease is the primary driver of mortality in patients with diabetes. Amputations at the forefoot or ankle preserve limb length, increase function, and, ultimately, reduce deconditioning and mortality compared with higher-level amputations, such as below-the-knee amputations (BKAs). We sought to identify risk factors associated with amputation level to understand barriers to length-preserving amputations (LPAs).
Methods: Diabetic lower-extremity admissions were extracted from the 2012-2014 National Inpatient Survey using ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes. The main outcome was a two-level variable consisting of LPAs (transmetatarsal, Syme, and Chopart) versus BKAs. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine contributions of patient- and hospital-level factors to likelihood of undergoing LPA versus BKA.
Results: The study cohort represented 110,355 admissions nationally: 42,375 LPAs and 67,980 BKAs. The population was predominantly white (56.85%), older than 50 years (82.55%), and male (70.38%). On multivariate analysis, living in an urban area (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 1.48; P < .0001) and having vascular intervention in the same hospital stay (RRR = 2.96; P < .0001) were predictive of LPA. Patients from rural locations but treated in urban centers were more likely to receive BKA. Minorities were more likely to present with severe disease, limiting delivery of LPAs. A high Elixhauser comorbidity score was related to BKA receipt.
Conclusions: This study identifies delivery biases in amputation level for patients without access to large, urban hospitals. Rural patients seeking care in these centers are more likely to receive higher-level amputations. Further examination is required to determine whether earlier referral to multidisciplinary centers is more effective at reducing BKA rates versus satellite centers in rural localities.
Background: Walking at various speeds and durations may result in different peak plantar pressure (PPP). However, there is no study comparing the effect of walking speeds and durations on PPP. The purpose of this study was to explore whether different walking speeds and durations significantly change PPP and establish a normal response in healthy people.
Methods: An in-shoe plantar pressure system was used to measure PPP under the first toe, first metatarsal, second metatarsal, and heel regions in 12 healthy, young people. All participants performed six walking trials at three speeds (3, 6, and 9 km/h) and for two durations (10 and 20 min). The 3 × 2 two-way analysis of variance was used to examine the main effects of speeds and durations and their interaction.
Results: The results showed that walking speeds significantly affected PPP and that walking duration did not. No interaction between the walking speed and duration was observed. Peak plantar pressure values under the first toe and the first metatarsal head were significantly higher (P < .05) at 9 km/h (509.1 ± 314.2 kPa and 591.4 ± 302.4 kPa, respectively) than at 3 km/h (275.4 ± 168.7 kPa and 369.4 ± 205.4 kPa, respectively) after 10-min walking.
Conclusions: People at risk for foot ulcers may use slow and brisk walking for exercise to reduce PPP, thus reducing risk for foot ulcers. Our study demonstrated that slow running at 9 km/h significantly increases PPP.