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)
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)
Achieving timely healing of foot ulcers can help avoid complications such as infection and amputation; topical oxygen therapy has shown promise in achieving this. We evaluated the clinical effectiveness of Granulox, a hemoglobin spray device designed to deliver oxygen to the surface of wounds, for the healing of foot ulcers.
We conducted a single-center, prospective, randomized controlled trial comparing standard of care (once-weekly podiatric medical clinic visits) versus standard care plus adjunct Granulox therapy twice weekly in adults with foot ulcers. After a 2-week screening phase, patients in whom the index wound had healed by less than 50% were randomized 1:1. Outcome measures were collated during the trial phase at 6 and 12 weeks.
Of 79 patients enrolled, 38 were randomized. After 12 weeks, the median percentage wound size reduction compared with the size of the ulcer at the start of the trial phase was 100% for the control arm and 48% for the Granulox arm (P = .21, Mann-Whitney U test). In the former, eight of 14 foot ulcers had healed; in the latter, four of 15 (P = .14, Fisher exact test). In the control arm, two amputations and one withdrawal occurred, whereas in the Granulox arm, one unrelated death and five withdrawals were recorded.
We could not replicate the favorable healing associated with use of Granulox as published by others. Differences in wound chronicity and frequency of Granulox application might have influenced differences in study results. Granulox might perform best when used as an adjunct for treatment of chronic wounds at least 8 weeks old.
Diabetes-related lower limb amputations (LLAs) are a major complication that can be reduced by employing multidisciplinary center frameworks such as the Toe and Flow model (TFM). In this study, we investigate the LLAs reduction efficacy of the TFM compared to the standard of care (SOC) in the Canadian health-care system.
We retrospectively reviewed the anonymized diabetes-related LLA reports (2007-2017) in Calgary and Edmonton metropolitan health zones in Alberta, Canada. Both zones have the same provincial health-care coverage and similar demographics; however, Calgary operates based on the TFM while Edmonton with the provincial SOC. LLAs were divided into minor and major amputation cohorts and evaluated using the chi-square test, linear regression. A lower major LLAs rate was denoted as a sign for higher efficacy of the system.
Although LLAs numbers remained relatively comparable (Calgary: 2238 and Edmonton: 2410), the Calgary zone had both significantly lower major (45%) and higher minor (42%) amputation incidence rates compared to the Edmonton zone. The increasing trend in minor LLAs and decreasing major LLAs in the Calgary zone were negatively and significantly correlated (r = -0.730, p = 0.011), with no significant correlation in the Edmonton zone.
Calgary's decreasing diabetes-related major LLAs and negative correlation in the minor-major LLAs rates compared to its sister zone Edmonton, provides support for the positive impact of the TFM. This investigation includes support for a modernization of the diabetes-related limb preservation practice in Canada by implementing TFMs across the country to combat major LLAs.
Diabetic foot infection (DFI) is a serious, difficult-to-treat infection, especially when caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Vancomycin has been the standard treatment for MRSA infection, but lower response rates in MRSA skin infections have been reported. This analysis assessed the outcome and safety of daptomycin therapy in patients with a DFI caused by MRSA.
Using the Cubicin Outcomes Registry and Experience and the European Cubicin Outcomes Registry and Experience (2006–2009), 79 patients with MRSA DFI were identified and included in this analysis.
In the 74 evaluable patients, daptomycin was administered at a median dose of 4.8 mg/kg primarily every 24 hours (85.1%) and for a median of 15.0 days. Overall, 77.0% of the patients (57 of 74) received initial therapy with activity against MRSA; however, of patients receiving daptomycin as second-line therapy (n = 31), only 45.2% were treated with an antibiotic agent active against MRSA. The overall clinical success and treatment failure rates were 89.2% and 10.8%, respectively. Success with daptomycin therapy was higher in patients who had surgery and in those whose initial therapy was daptomycin. Eleven patients had 14 adverse events, two of which were possibly related to daptomycin use and led to discontinuation.
In a large real-world cohort of patients with MRSA DFI, daptomycin therapy was shown to be generally well tolerated and effective. The use of an anti-MRSA antibiotic agent should be considered when implementing first-line antibiotic drug therapy for DFI in countries where MRSA is common to avoid inappropriate empirical treatment and potential negative effects on outcomes.
Split-thickness skin grafts can be used for foot wound closure in diabetic and nondiabetic patients. It is unknown whether this procedure is reliable for all diabetic patients, with or without comorbidities of diabetes, including cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, retinopathy, and nephropathy.
We retrospectively reviewed 203 patients who underwent this procedure to determine significant differences in healing time, postoperative infection, and need for revisional surgery and to create a predictive model to identify diabetic patients who are likely to have a successful outcome.
Overall, compared with nondiabetic patients, diabetic patients experienced a significantly higher risk of delayed healing time and postoperative complication/infection and, hence, are more likely to require revisional surgery after undergoing the initial split-thickness skin graft procedure. These differences seemed to be related more to the presence of comorbidities than to diabetic status itself. Diabetic patients with preexisting comorbidities experienced a significantly increased risk of delayed healing time and postoperative infection and a higher need for revisional surgery compared with nondiabetic patients or diabetic patients without comorbidities. However, there were no significant differences in outcome between diabetic patients without comorbidities and nondiabetic patients.
For individuals with diabetes but without exclusionary comorbidities, split-thickness skin grafting may be considered an effective surgical alternative to other prolonged treatment options currently used in this patient population. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(3): 223–232, 2013)
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)
Background: Despite national and international guidelines supporting podiatric services as a means of prevention for lower-extremity complications, especially in at-risk individuals, current coverage for these services under the US Medicaid program is not universal. The vast differences between state Medicaid programs regarding reimbursable foot care services is confusing and potentially serves as a barrier for the most vulnerable populations to receive preventative services. This article provides a brief discussion of “routine” podiatric services from a clinical perspective and provides a review of state Medicaid programs including optional services (eg, podiatric coverage).
Methods: Using data from a national survey of state Medicaid programs, we present and discuss common Medicaid coverage schemes for routine foot care provided by podiatric physicians.
Results: Analysis demonstrated that states vary dramatically in basic descriptions of preventive foot care, levels of coverage, eligibility, and methods of documenting coverage details.
Conclusions: The authors recommend bringing Medicaid in line with other federal health programs and including podiatric physicians in the definition of “physician” for coverage purposes. States should move away from describing preventative services as “routine” and choose language that more accurately reflects the true nature and purpose of the care.
This historical perspective highlights some of the pioneers, milestones, teams, and system changes that have had a major impact on management of the diabetic foot during the past 100 years. In 1934, American diabetologist Elliott P. Joslin noted that mortality from diabetic coma had fallen from 60% to 5% after the introduction of insulin, yet deaths from diabetic gangrene of the lower extremity had risen significantly. He believed that diabetic gangrene was preventable. His remedy was a team approach that included foot care, diet, exercise, prompt treatment of foot infections, and specialized surgical care.
The history of the team approach to management of the diabetic foot chronicles the rise of a new health profession—podiatric medicine and surgery—and emergence of the specialty of vascular surgery. The partnership among the diabetologist, vascular surgeon, and podiatric surgeon is a natural one. The complementary skills and knowledge of each can improve limb salvage and functional outcomes. Comprehensive multidisciplinary foot-care programs have been shown to increase quality of care and reduce amputation rates by 36% to 86%. Development of distal revascularization techniques to restore pulsatile blood flow to the foot has also been a major advancement.
Patients with diabetic foot complications are among the most complex and vulnerable of all patient populations. Specialized diabetic foot clinics of the 21st century should be multidisciplinary and equipped to coordinate diagnosis, off-loading, and preventive care; to perform revascularization procedures; to aggressively treat infections; and to manage medical comorbidities. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 317–334, 2010)