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)
A Pragmatic, Single-Center, Prospective, Randomized Controlled Trial of Adjunct Hemoglobin-Mediated Granulox Topical Oxygen Therapy Twice Weekly for Foot Ulcers
Results of the Hemoglobin Application to Wounds Study
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.
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)
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)
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)
Previous study indicates that pharmacologic antithrombotic therapy may be an inhibitory factor for wound healing and should merit consideration among the other core factors in wound healing optimization.
This study provides a retrospective analysis of the effect of antithrombotic therapy on wound healing rates of uncomplicated diabetic foot ulcerations. Wounds treated with standard of care in the presence of clinical anticoagulation were compared to control wounds.
The results indicate a statistically significant negative correlation between antithrombotic therapy and diabetic foot wound healing rate. This represents the first study focusing on this correlation in the uncomplicated diabetic foot wound.
This retrospective study demonstrates that antithrombotic therapy has a statistically significant negative effect on healing rates of uncomplicated diabetic foot ulcerations. Both wound area and depth improvement over 4 weeks was significantly better in treated patients who were not on antithrombotic therapy for comorbidity not associated with peripheral arterial disease.
Diabetic foot disease frequently leads to substantial long-term complications, imposing a huge socioeconomic burden on available resources and health-care systems. Peripheral neuropathy, repetitive trauma, and peripheral vascular disease are common underlying pathways that lead to skin breakdown, often setting the stage for limb-threatening infection. Individuals with diabetes presenting with foot infection warrant optimal surgical management to affect limb salvage and prevent amputation; aggressive short-term and meticulous long-term care plans are required. In addition, the initial surgical intervention or series of interventions must be coupled with appropriate systemic metabolic management as part of an integrated, multidisciplinary team. Such teams typically include multiple medical, surgical, and nursing specialties across a variety of public and private health-care systems. This article presents a stepwise approach to the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic foot infections with emphasis on the appropriate use of surgical interventions and includes the following key elements: incision, wound investigation, debridement, wound irrigation and lavage, and definitive wound closure. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 401–405, 2010)