Surgical intervention for chronic deformities and ulcerations has become an important component in the management of patients with diabetes mellitus. Such patients are no longer relegated to wearing cumbersome braces or footwear for deformities that might otherwise be easily corrected. Although surgical intervention in these often high-risk individuals is not without risk, the outcomes are fairly predictable when patients are properly selected and evaluated. In this brief review, we discuss the rationale and indications for diabetic foot surgery, focusing on the surgical decompression of deformities that frequently lead to foot ulcers. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 369–384, 2010)
External thermoregulation using noncontact normothermic wound therapy accelerates wound closure by second intention in areas of existing osteomyelitis before surgical excision compared with standard wound care. This pilot study consisted of two arms. The control arm received standard wound care, which resulted in complete ulcer healing at an average of 127 days. The treatment arm received noncontact normothermic wound therapy, which resulted in complete ulcer healing at an average of 59 days, or 54% faster than in the control arm. This new treatment allows the physician to decrease the rate of limb loss and recurrent osteomyelitis by decreasing the morbidity of bone reinfection through the wound bed. There have been no published studies or case presentations addressing thermoregulation in the management of wounds associated with osteomyelitis. Although noncontact normothermic wound therapy is not a direct treatment for osteomyelitis, this new treatment option results in significantly accelerated healing of wounds associated with osteomyelitis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(1): 18-22, 2003)
Biochemical properties of the amniotic membrane help modulate inflammation and enhance soft-tissue healing. In controlled trials, the efficacy of dehydrated human amnion/chorion membrane (dHACM) allografts has been established. Our purpose is to describe our experience with using dHACM to treat nonhealing wounds of various etiologies.
We conducted a retrospective review of deidentified data from 117 consecutive patients treated in an outpatient clinic with dHACM allografts with wounds of various etiologies over 2 years. The decision to use advanced wound-care treatments is based on rate of healing observed after initiation of standard wound care and patient risk factors. Eligibility for treatments such as amniotic membrane allografts includes wounds without 50% reduction after 4 weeks, or earlier in patients deemed to be at high risk for nonhealing or with a history of chronic wounds. In micronized or sheet formulation, dHACM is applied to the wound weekly after sharp/mechanical debridement as necessary, and wound-care practices appropriate for wound type and location are continued.
Thirty-four percent of allograft recipients had diabetic foot ulcers, 25% had venous leg ulcers, 20% had surgical wounds, 14% had pressure ulcers, 6% had ischemic wounds, and 2% had traumatic wounds. Complete healing occurred in 91.1% of treated patients, with a mean ± SD number of weekly applications per healed wound of 5.1 ± 4.2.
In addition to wounds of diabetic origin, dHACM can significantly expedite healing in refractory wounds of varying etiologies.
Remote ischemic conditioning involves the use of a blood pressure cuff or similar device to induce brief (3–5 min) episodes of limb ischemia. This, in turn, seems to activate a group of distress signals that has shown the potential ability to improve healing of the heart muscle and other organ systems. Until recently, this has not been tested in people with diabetic foot ulcers. The purpose of this review was to provide background on remote ischemic conditioning and recent data to potentially support its use as an adjunct to healing diabetic foot ulcers and other types of tissue loss. We believe that this inexpensive therapy has the potential to be deployed and incorporated into a variety of other therapies to prime patients for healing and to reduce morbidity in patients with this common, complex, and costly complication.
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.
Background: We used a model of lower-extremity ulceration to determine the impact of a podiatric lead limb preservation team on identified relationships among risk factors, predictors of ulceration, amputation, and clinical outcomes of lower-extremity disease in patients with diabetes mellitus.
Methods: A total of 485 patients with diabetes mellitus were randomly selected from the diabetic population and included in this retrospective cohort study. Patients were then stratified into two groups: those who received specialty podiatric medical care and those who did not. Data covering a 5-year period were collected using electronic medical records and chart abstraction to capture detailed treatment characteristics, ulcer status, and surgical outcomes.
Results: Overall, the frequencies of inpatient and outpatient encounters and the durations of hospital stays were significantly greater with increasing wound depth and in the presence of infection. In addition, the overall ulcer incidence was greater in patients with callus (34.3% versus 10.3%, P < .0001) with and without neuropathy (20.4% and 4.1%, P < .0001). Among patients treated in a specialty multidiscipline podiatric medical setting, the proportion of all amputations that were “minor” was significantly increased (33.7% versus 67.3%, P = .0006), and survival was significantly improved (19.5% versus 7.7%, P < .0001).
Conclusions: Early identification of individuals at increased risk for lower-extremity ulceration and subsequent referral for advanced multidiscipline podiatric medical specialty care may decrease rates of ulceration and proximal amputation and improve survival in patients with diabetes mellitus who are at high risk for ulceration and limb loss. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 235–241, 2010)
An Assessment of Intralesional Epidermal Growth Factor for Treating Diabetic Foot Wounds
The First Experiences in Turkey
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.
Background: Diabetes-related lower-extremity amputations are largely preventable. Eighty-five percent of amputations are preceded by a foot ulcer. Effective management of ulcers, which leads to healing, can prevent limb loss.
Methods: In a county hospital, we implemented a six-step approach to the diabetic limb at risk. We calculated the frequency and level of lower-extremity amputations for 12 months before and 12 months after implementation of the amputation prevention program. We also calculated the high-low amputation ratio for the years reviewed. The high-low amputation ratio is a quality measure for the success of amputation prevention measures and is calculated as the ratio of the number of high amputations (limb losses) over the number of low (partial foot) amputations.
Results: The frequency of total amputations increased from 24 in year 1 to 46 in year 2. However, the number of limb losses decreased from 7 to 2 (72%). The high-low amputation ratio decreased eightfold in 1 year, which serves as a marker for limb salvage success.
Conclusions: Improvement in care organization and multidisciplinary-centered protocols can substantially reduce limb losses. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(2): 101–104, 2010)
Heel decubitus ulcerations are relatively common occurrences that can be limb threatening. There are many options to treat these ulcerations, ranging from conservative wound care to serial debridement with flap reconstruction. However, not all patients are good candidates for major reconstructive surgery. In this case, we present a 46-year-old man who failed 3 months of conservative wound care after sustaining a heel decubitus ulcer because of immobilization from a motor vehicle accident. The ulceration was treated with sharp excision of the wound with calcaneal decorticalization and use of negative-pressure wound therapy to use the localized bone marrow within the wound bed. The patient went on to heal within 3 months of operative intervention and remains healed greater than 1 year postoperatively. This technique provided the ability to use localized bone marrow to assist in wound healing without the operative morbidity of a reconstructive procedure.
Osteomyelitis is one of the most feared sequelae of diabetic foot ulceration, which often leads to lower-extremity amputation and disability. Early diagnosis of osteomyelitis increases the likelihood of successful treatment and may limit the amount of bone resected, preserving ambulatory function. Although a variety of techniques exist for imaging the diabetic foot, standard radiography is still the only in-office imaging modality used today. However, radiographs lack sensitivity and specificity, making it difficult to diagnose bone infection at its early stages. In this report, we describe our initial experience with a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT)–based device, which may serve as an accurate and readily available tool for early diagnosis of osteomyelitis in a patient with diabetes. Two patients with infected diabetic foot ulcers were evaluated for osteomyelitis using radiography and CBCT. Positive imaging findings were confirmed by bone biopsy. In both patients, CBCT captured early osteolytic changes that were not apparent on radiographs, leading to early surgical intervention and successful treatment. The CBCT was helpful in facilitating detection and early clinical intervention for osteomyelitis in two diabetic patients with foot ulcers. These results are encouraging and warrant future evaluation.