The Role of Interdisciplinary Team Approach in the Management of the Diabetic Foot
A Joint Statement from the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Podiatric Medical Association
The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recognize the beneficial impact of a multidisciplinary team approach on the care of patients with critical limb ischemia, especially in the diabetic population. As a first step in identifying clinical issues and questions important to both memberships, and to work together to find solutions that will benefit the shared patient, the two organizations appointed a representative group to write a joint statement on the importance of multidisciplinary team approach to the care of the diabetic foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 309–311, 2010)
The skin on human feet presents unique environments for the proliferation of potentially pathogenic commensals. This study examined microflora changes on healthy intact skin under a semiocclusive dressing on the medial longitudinal arch of the foot to determine changes in growth, distribution, and frequency of microflora under the dressing.
Nine human participants wore a low-adherent, absorbent, semiocclusive dressing on the medial longitudinal arch of the left foot for 2 weeks. An identical location on the right foot was swabbed and used as a control. Each foot was swabbed at baseline, week 1, and week 2. The swabs were cultured for 48 hours. Visual identification, Gram staining, DNase test agar, and a latex slide agglutination test were used to identify genera and species.
Microflora growth was categorized as scant (0–10 colony-forming units [CFU]), light (11–50 CFU), moderate (51–100 CFU), or heavy (>100 CFU). Scant and light growth decreased and moderate and heavy growth increased under the dressing compared with the control. Seven different genera of bacteria were identified. Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp appeared most frequently, followed by
Changes in microflora distribution, frequency, and growth were found under the dressing, supporting historical studies. Microflora changes were identified as an increase in bioburden and reduction in diversity. The application of similar methods, using more sophisticated identification and analysis techniques and a variety of dressings, could lead to a better understanding of bacterial and fungal growth under dressings, informing better dressing selection to assist the healing process of wounds and prevent infection.
Staphylococcus pseudintermedius is an emerging zoonotic pathogen that is very similar to human Staphylococcus pathogens, particularly multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Recent reports have indicated that S pseudintermedius is easily transmitted between pets (mainly dogs) and owners because of these similarities. Although this pathogen has been associated with diabetic foot infections, it has not yet been described in the podiatric medical literature. In this case report, we present a diabetic foot infection in a 61-year-old man that was refractory to multiple rounds of antibiotic drug therapy. Deep wound cultures eventually grew S pseudintermedius, which was the first known case of this pathogen reported in our hospital system.
Persons with diabetes have a higher incidence of fractures compared with persons without diabetes. However, there is little published information concerning the deleterious effect of late-stage diabetes on fracture healing. There are no studies using animal models that evaluate the effect of advanced diabetes on fracture healing. The purpose of our study was to evaluate cytokine expression, specifically macrophage inflammatory protein 1 (MIP-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor, in fracture healing in a type 2 diabetes rat model.
We evaluated biomarker expression after femur fracture using a rat model. The two groups consisted of 24 Zucker diabetic rats (study group) and 12 Zucker lean rats (control group). An independent reviewer was used to assess delayed union. We evaluated serum samples 2, 4, 7, and 14 days after surgery for MIP-1, vascular endothelial growth factor, leptin, and other cytokine levels.
At 3 weeks, Kaplan-Meier estimates showed that 45.8% of femur fractures in Zucker diabetic rats had healed, whereas 81.8% of those in Zucker lean rats had healed (P = .02). A logistic regression model to predict fast healing that included the three cytokines and diabetes status showed that the only factor achieving significance was MIP-1α. Vascular endothelial growth factor was the only biomarker to show significance compared with delayed healing.
These results confirm significant differences in biomarker expression between diabetic and nondiabetic rats during bone healing. The key factors for bone healing may appear early in the healing process, whereas differences in diabetes versus nondiabetes are seen later in the healing process. Increased levels of MIP-1α were associated with the likelihood of delayed healing.
Wound debridement, when systematically performed, may be as important as off-loading in reducing the prevalence of chronic inflammatory by-products in a wound and thus in converting a chronic wound into an acute one. Although it has been suggested that aggressive surgical debridement of wounds may be beneficial, there have been few, if any, technical descriptions of this aspect of therapy. It is therefore the purpose of this article to describe the general principles, process, and technique of outpatient surgical debridement of noninfected, nonischemic neuropathic diabetic foot wounds performed at the authors’ institutions. The authors hope to foster further discussion leading to improvement in the process and the prevalence of such debridement. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(7): 402-404, 2002)
Skin grafting provides an effective means of closing chronic wounds. Autografts and allografts are used most often in skin grafting, but Apligraf, a tissue-engineered bilayered human skin equivalent, provides another safe and effective grafting option for treating diabetic, venous, and pressure ulcers. This skin equivalent has an epidermis and dermis similar to human skin, largely due to its derivation from neonatal foreskin. Apligraf is also easily accessible and has shown little immunoreactivity. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(1): 19-23, 2002)
Partial foot amputations (PFAs) are often indicated for the treatment of severe infection, osteomyelitis, and critical limb ischemia, which consequently leads to irreversible necrosis. Many patients who undergo PFAs have concomitant comorbidities and generally present with a severe acute manifestation of the condition, such as gangrenous changes, systemic infection, or debilitating pain, which would then require emergency amputation on an inpatient basis.
The purpose of this study was to track the recent prevalence of PFAs and to investigate the current demographic trends of the physicians managing and performing PFAs, specifically regarding medical degree and specialty. Doctors of podiatric medicine are striving to achieve parity with their allopathic and osteopathic surgical counterparts and become a more prominent part of the multidisciplinary approach to limb salvage and emergency surgical treatment. This study evaluated 4 years (2009–2012) of PFA data from the Pennsylvania state inpatient database in the two most populated areas of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Allegheny counties. Statistics on medical schools were obtained directly from the accrediting bodies of allopathic, osteopathic, and podiatric medical schools. The goal of this study was to evaluate the general trends of patients undergoing a PFA and to quantify the upswing of podiatric surgeons intervening in the surgical care of these patients.
The number of partial foot amputations in the United States rose from 2006 to 2012. Podiatric surgeons performed 46% of theses procedures for residents of Philadelphia County from 2009 to 2012. In Allegheny County podiatric physicians performed 42% of these procedures during the same time frame.
Partial foot amputations are increasing over time. Podiatric Surgeons perform a significant share of these operations. This share is increasing in the most populated areas of Pennsylvania.
Background: We sought to determine the similarity of pathogens isolated from soft tissue and bone in patients with diabetic foot infections. It is widely believed that soft-tissue cultures are adequate in the determination of causative bacteria in patients with diabetic foot osteomyelitis. The culture results of specimens taken concurrently from soft-tissue and bone infections show that the former does not predict the latter with sufficient reliability. We sought to determine the similarity of pathogens isolated from soft tissue and bone in patients with diabetic foot infections.
Methods: Forty-five patients with diabetic foot infections were enrolled in the study. Patients had to have clinically suspected foot lesions of grade 3 or higher on the Wagner classification system. In patients with clinically suspected osteomyelitis, magnetic resonance imaging, scintigraphy, or histopathologic examination were performed. Bone and deep soft tissue specimens were obtained from all patients by open surgical procedures under aseptic conditions during debridement or amputation. The specimens were compared only with the other specimens taken from the same patients.
Results: The results of bone and soft-tissue cultures were identical in 49% (n = 22) of cases. In 11% (n = 5) of cases there were no common pathogens. In 29% (n = 13) of cases there were more pathogens in the soft-tissue specimens; these microorganisms included microbes isolated from bone cultures. In four patients (9%) with culture-positive soft-tissue specimens, bone culture specimens remained sterile. In one patient (2%) with culture-positive bone specimen, soft-tissue specimen remained sterile.
Conclusion: Culture specimens should be obtained from both the bone and the overlying deep soft tissue in patients with suspected osteomyelitis whose clinical conditions are suitable. The decision to administer antibiotic therapy should depend on these results. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(4): 290–295, 2008)
Background: Plantar first metatarsal ulcerations pose a difficult challenge to clinicians. Etiologies vary and include first metatarsal declination, cavus foot deformity, equinus contracture, and hallux limitus/rigidus. Our pragmatic, sequential approach to the multiple contributing etiologies of increased plantar pressure sub–first metatarsal can be addressed through minimal skin incisions.
Methods: A retrospective review was performed for patients with surgically treated preulcerations or ulcerations sub–first metatarsal head. All of the patients underwent a dorsiflexory wedge osteotomy, and the need for each additional procedure was independently assessed. Equinus contracture was treated with Achilles tendon lengthening, cavovarus deformity was mitigated with Steindler stripping, and plantarflexed first ray was treated with dorsiflexory wedge osteotomy.
Results: Eight patients underwent our pragmatic, sequential approach for increased plantar pressure sub–first metatarsal, four with preoperative ulcerations and four with preoperative hyperkeratotic preulcerative lesions. The preoperative ulcerations were present for an average of 25.43 weeks (range, 6.00–72.86 weeks), with an average size of 0.19 cm3 (median, 0.04 cm3). Procedure breakdown was as follows: eight first metatarsal osteotomies, four Achilles tendon lengthenings, and six Steindler strippings. Postoperatively, all eight patients returned to full ambulation, and the four ulcerations healed at an average of 24 days (range, 15–38 days). New ulceration occurred in one patient, and postoperative infection occurred in one patient. There were no ulceration recurrences, dehiscence of surgical sites, or minor or major amputations.
Conclusions: The outcomes in patients surgically treated for increased plantar first metatarsal head pressure were evaluated. This case series demonstrates that our pragmatic, sequential approach yields positive results. In diabetic or high-risk patients, it is our treatment algorithm of choice for increased plantar first metatarsal pressure.