Elevated dynamic plantar pressures are a consistent finding in diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy, with implications for plantar foot ulceration. This study aimed to investigate whether a first-ray amputation affects plantar pressures and plantar pressure distribution patterns in individuals living with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy.
A nonexperimental matched-subject design was conducted. Twenty patients living with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy were recruited. Group 1 (n = 10) had a first-ray amputation and group 2 (n = 10) had an intact foot with no history of ulceration. Plantar foot pressures and pressure-time integrals were measured under the second to fourth metatarsophalangeal joints, fifth metatarsophalangeal joint, and heel using a pressure platform.
Peak plantar pressures under the second to fourth metatarsophalangeal joints were significantly higher in participants with a first-ray amputation (P = .008). However, differences under the fifth metatarsophalangeal joint (P = .734) and heel (P = .273) were nonsignificant. Pressure-time integrals were significantly higher under the second to fourth metatarsophalangeal joints in participants with a first-ray amputation (P = .016) and in the heel in the control group (P = .046).
Plantar pressures and pressure-time integrals seem to be significantly higher in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and a first-ray amputation compared with those with diabetic neuropathy and an intact foot. Routine plantar pressure screening, orthotic prescription, and education should be recommended in patients with a first-ray amputation.
We sought to determine patient and ulcer characteristics that predict wound healing in patients living with diabetes.
A prospective observational study was conducted on 99 patients presenting with diabetic foot ulceration. Patient and ulcer characteristics were recorded. Patients were followed up for a maximum of 1 year.
After 1 year of follow-up, ulcer characteristics were more predictive of ulcer healing than were patient characteristics. Seventy-seven percent of ulcers had healed and 23% had not healed. Independent predictors of nonhealing were ulcer stage (P = .003), presence of biofilm (P = .020), and ulcer depth (P = .028). Although this study demonstrated that the baseline hemoglobin A1c reading at the start of the study was not a significant predictor of foot ulcer outcome (P = .603, resolved versus amputated), on further statistical analyses, when hemoglobin A1c was compared with the time taken for complete ulcer healing (n = 77), it proved to be significant (P = .009).
The factors influencing healing are ulcer stage, presence of biofilm, and ulcer depth. These findings have important implications for clinical practice, especially in an outpatient setting. Prediction of outcome may be helpful for health-care professionals in individualizing and optimizing clinical assessment and management of patients. Identification of determinants of outcome could result in improved health outcomes, improved quality of life, and fewer diabetes-related foot complications.
Background: This study reevaluates the previously reported subjective benefits of surgical nerve decompression in diabetes with an easily observable, fully objective outcome measure to eliminate the placebo effect and observer bias.
Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of a series of 75 feet in 65 patients with diabetes and previous neuropathic ulcer who had surgical decompressions of the peroneal and posterior tibial nerve branches at anatomical fibro-osseous tunnels. After a minimum of 12 months of follow-up, the incidence of ipsilateral ulcer was assessed.
Results: Postoperatively, four ulcer recurrences and four new-site ulcers developed in 187 patient-years. Mean follow-up was 2.49 years (range, 1–13 years). The combined linear annual risk of ipsilateral recurrence and new ulcer is 4.28%, the lowest reported in the scientific literature.
Conclusions: Surgical decompression of lower-extremity nerves of high-risk feet at fibro-osseous anatomical tunnels was followed by a low annual incidence of ulcer recurrence. This objective outcome measure suggests benefits of nerve decompression in diabetic neuropathy, as have previous reports using pain and sensory change as subjective measures. Unrecognized nerve entrapment may frequently coexist with diabetic sensorimotor peripheral neuropathy in patients with diabetic foot ulcer. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(2): 111–115, 2010)
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)
The number of people with diabetes is expected to reach 592 million in the year 2035. Diabetic foot lesions are responsible for more hospitalizations than any other complication of diabetes. The aims of this study were to examine for the first time a new biocompatible and biodegradable tridimensional collagen-based matrix, GBT013, in humans for diabetic foot ulcer wound healing and to evaluate its ease of use to better define a protocol for a future clinical trial. Seven adult patients with a diabetic foot ulcer of grade 1A to 3D (University of Texas Diabetic Wound Classification) were treated using GBT013, a new collagen-based advance dressing and were monitored in two specialized foot care units for a maximum of 9 weeks. Five of seven wounds achieved complete healing in 4 to 7 weeks. Nonhealed ulcers showed a significant reduction of the wound surface (>44%). GBT013 was well tolerated and displayed positive wound healing outcomes as a new treatment strategy of chronic foot ulcers in diabetic patients.
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 effect of lower-extremity pathology and surgical intervention on automobile driving function has been a topic of contemporary interest in the medical literature. The objective of this review was to summarize the topic of driving function in the setting of lower-extremity impairment. Included studies involved lower-extremity immobilization devices, elective and traumatic lower-limb surgery, chronic musculoskeletal pathology, and diabetes as it relates to the foot and ankle, focusing on the effect each may have on driving function. We also discuss the basic US state regulations with respect to impaired driving and changes to automobile structure that can be made in the setting of lower-extremity pathology.
Background: We sought to determine the incidence of tinea pedis in patients with otherwise asymptomatic pedal interdigital macerations. Both diabetic and nondiabetic populations were compared. Age and body mass index were also examined for their significance.
Methods: Fungal cultures of skin scrapings from 80 patients (77 male and 3 female; mean age, 65 years) with interdigital macerations were performed; 40 patients had previously been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and 40 did not have diabetes.
Results: Cultures revealed a 40% prevalence of tinea pedis in the total study population. The prevalence in the nondiabetic group was 37.5% and 42.5% for the diabetic group. This was not a statistically significant difference. Among patients with interdigital macerations that yielded positive fungal cultures, those in the nondiabetic group were 6.3 years older than those in the diabetic group. It was also observed that the nondiabetic patients with interdigital macerations yielding positive fungal cultures were 9.1 years older than patients with negative fungal cultures in the nondiabetic group.
Conclusion: The results of this study provide the practitioner with a guide for treating pedal interdigital macerations. Because the likelihood of a tinea pedis infection is 40%, it seems prudent to treat these macerations with an antifungal agent. In regard to age, the results suggest that as nondiabetic patients age, the likelihood of an otherwise asymptomatic interdigital maceration yielding a positive fungal culture increases, and that diabetic patients may be susceptible to interdigital fungal infections at a younger age than those without diabetes. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(5): 353–356, 2008)
Charcot neuroarthropathy (CN), or the Charcot foot, is a complication usually associated with diabetes that frequently results in changes in foot shape and structure that have an effect on function and risk of ulceration. This study aimed to assess foot shape and asymmetry in CN using the Foot Posture Index (FPI-6).
Case notes of patients with CN seen in a diabetic orthotic clinic were reviewed, and available FPI-6 data were analyzed. A comparison group of patients with diabetes without CN was also identified. Groups were compared according to published ranges of foot posture and asymmetry using the Fisher exact test.
Twenty-seven patients with CN with 28 affected feet and a comparison group of 27 patients with diabetes only were identified. There was large variation in FPI-6 scores in affected (1 to 12) and unaffected (–1 to 10) feet. Mean scores for affected feet (6.82) and unaffected feet (5.05) differed significantly (P = .005). Considering all FPI-6 scores as positive numbers to indicate mean absolute difference between affected and unaffected feet, CN-affected feet differed by a mean of 3.00 points from unaffected feet. Patients in the CN group were less likely to have asymmetry in the normal range than the comparison group (P = .0146).
This study provides new data on foot shape after CN. Patients with CN have feet that are significantly asymmetrical, and the affected foot may be more pronated or supinated. Feet affected by CN are characterized by shape, which is more frequently outside the normal range. The FPI-6 may be suitable for more widespread use in assessment and outcome measurement.
Since 1992 it has been reported that patients with diabetes mellitus recover sensibility and obtain relief of pain from neuropathy symptoms by decompression of lower-extremity peripheral nerves. None of these reports included a series with more than 36 diabetic patients with lower-extremity nerves decompressed, and only recently has a single report appeared of the results of this approach in patients with nondiabetic neuropathy. No previous report has described a change in balance related to restoration of sensibility. A prospective study was conducted of 100 consecutive patients (60 with diabetes and 40 with idiopathic neuropathy) operated on by a single surgeon, other than the originator of this approach, and with the postoperative results reviewed by someone other than these two surgeons. Each patient had neurolysis of the peroneal nerve at the knee and the dorsum of the foot, and the tibial nerve released in the four medial ankle tunnels. After at least 1 year of follow-up, 87% of patients with preoperative numbness reported improved sensation, 92% with preoperative balance problems reported improved balance, and 86% whose pain level was 5 or greater on a visual analog scale from 0 (no pain) to 10 (the most severe pain) before surgery reported an improvement in pain. Decompression of compressed lower-extremity nerves improves sensation and decreases pain, and should be recommended for patients with neuropathy who have failed to improve with traditional medical treatment. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(5): 451–454, 2005)