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)
The objective of this investigation was to determine the level of agreement between a systematic clinical Doppler examination of the foot and ankle and diagnostic peripheral angiography.
The described Doppler examination technique attempted to determine the patency, quality, and direction of the flow through the dorsalis pedis artery, posterior tibial artery, terminal branches of the peroneal artery, and vascular arch of the foot. These results were then compared with angiographic distal run-off images as interpreted by a blinded vascular surgeon.
Levels of agreement with respect to artery patency/quality ranged from 64.0% to 84.0%. Sensitivity ranged from 53.8% to 84.2%, and specificity ranged from 64.7% to 91.7%. Agreement with respect to arterial flow direction ranged from 73.3% to 90.5%.
We interpret these results to indicate that this comprehensive physical examination technique of the arterial flow to the foot and ankle with a Doppler device might serve as a reasonable initial surrogate to diagnostic angiography in some patients with peripheral arterial disease.
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)
In this study, we aimed to evaluate the potential use of a 3-phase bone scintigraphy method to determine the level of amputation on treatment cost, morbidity and mortality, reamputation rates, and the duration of hospitalization in diabetic foot.
Thirty patients who were admitted to our clinic between September 2008 and July 2009, with diabetic foot were included. All patients were evaluated according to age, gender, diabetes duration, 3-phase bone scintigraphy, Doppler ultrasound, amputation/reamputation levels, and hospitalization periods. Patients underwent 3-phase bone scintigraphy using technetium-99m methylene diphosphonate, and the most distal site of the region displaying perfusion during the perfusion and early blood flow phase was marked as the amputation level. Amputation level was determined by 3-phase bone scintigraphy, Doppler ultrasound, and inspection of the infection-free clear region during surgery.
The amputation levels of the patients were as follows: finger in six (20%), ray amputation in five (16.6%), transmetatarsal in one (3.3%), Lisfranc in two (6.6%), Chopart in seven (23.3%), Syme in one (3.3%), below-the-knee in six (20%), above the knee in one (3.3%), knee disarticulation in one (3.3%), and two patients underwent amputation at other centers. After primary amputation, reamputation was performed on seven patients, and one patient was treated with debridement for wound site problems. No mortality was encountered during study.
We conclude that 3-phase bone scintigraphy prior to surgery could be a useful method to determine the amputation level in a diabetic foot. We conclude that further, comparative, more comprehensive, long-term, and controlled studies are required.
Interprofessional collaboration is key to quality outcomes in the health-care systems of today. Simulation is a common tool in podiatric medical education, and interprofessional education has become more common in podiatric medicine programs. Interprofessional simulation is the blending of these educational strategies.
A quantitative design was used to determine the impact of an isolated interprofessional podiatric surgical simulation between nurse anesthesia and podiatric medical students.
Statistically significant differences were observed among participants between preintervention and postintervention surveys using the revised Interdisciplinary Education Perception Scale.
Interprofessional simulation can be an effective educational opportunity for podiatric medical and nurse anesthesia students.
The Applicability of Plantar Padding in Reducing Peak Plantar Pressure in the Forefeet of Healthy Adults
Implications for the Foot at Risk
Background: We investigated the effectiveness and durability of two types of plantar padding, the plantar metatarsal pad and the single wing plantar cover, which are commonly used for reducing forefoot plantar pressures.
Methods: Mean peak plantar pressure and impulse at the hallux and at the first, second, third, and fourth metatarsophalangeal joints across both feet were recorded using the two-step method in 18 individuals with normal asymptomatic feet. Plantar paddings were retained for 5 days, and their durability and effectiveness were assessed by repeating the foot plantar measurement at baseline and after 3 and 5 days.
Results: The single wing plantar cover devised from 5-mm felt adhesive padding was effective and durable in reducing peak plantar pressure and impulse at the first metatarsophalangeal joint (P = .001 and P = .015, respectively); however, it was not found to be effective in reducing peak plantar pressure and impulse at the hallux (P = .782 and P = .845, respectively). The plantar metatarsal pad was not effective in reducing plantar forefoot pressure and impulse at the second, third, and fourth metatarsophalangeal joints (P = .310 and P = .174, respectively).
Conclusions: These results imply limited applicability of the single wing plantar cover and the plantar metatarsal pad in reducing hallux pressure and second through fourth metatarsophalangeal joint pressure, respectively. However, the single wing plantar cover remained durable for the 5 days of the trial and was effective in reducing the peak plantar pressure and impulse underneath the first metatarsophalangeal joint.
Background: Recurrent ulceration is a common problem after partial first-ray amputations. Loss of the first metatarsophalangeal joint contributes to altered biomechanics and increased pressure on the foot. This may increase risk of adjacent ulcerations and additional amputations. Preserving first-ray length maintains the metatarsal parabola and limits transfer lesions, but few data support this. We aimed to evaluate the incidence of ulceration after partial first-ray amputations and to assess the association between metatarsal protrusion distance and recurrent ulceration.
Methods: Thirty-two consecutive patients underwent unilateral partial first-ray amputation at various levels along the first metatarsal, and the metatarsal protrusion distance was measured after surgery. Incidence of ulceration was evaluated on the ipsilateral foot. We hypothesized that patients with a longer first metatarsal were less likely to ulcerate again on the ipsilateral foot.
Results: Fourteen patients (43.8%) ulcerated again after partial first-ray amputation. Mean time to ulceration was 104 days. Active smoking status was associated with increased risk of another ulceration (P = .02), and chronic kidney disease was associated with a decreased risk of recurrent ulceration (P = .03). The average metatarsal protrusion distance for patients who ulcerated again after surgery was 36.1 mm versus 25.9 mm for patients who did not (P = .04). Logistic regression analysis of the receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated an ideal cutoff length for recurrent ulceration of 37 mm (area under the curve = 0.7381). Patients with a protrusion distance greater than 37 mm were nine times as likely to ulcerate again (95% CI, 1.7–47.0).
Conclusions: Partial first-ray amputations can be a good initial salvage procedure to clear infection and prolong bipedal ambulatory status. Unfortunately, these patients are prone to recurrent ulceration. Significant loss of first metatarsal length is a poor prognostic indicator for recurrent ulceration.
Selecting empirical therapy for a diabetic foot infection (DFI) requires knowing how likely infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa is in a particular patient. We designed this study to define the risk factors associated with P aeruginosa in DFI.
We performed a preplanned microbiological subanalysis of data from a study assessing the effects of treatment with intralesional epidermal growth factor for diabetic foot wounds in patients in Turkey between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2013. Patients were screened for risk factors, and the data of enrolled individuals were recorded in custom-designed patient data forms. Factors affecting P aeruginosa isolation were evaluated by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses, with statistical significance set at P < .05.
There were 174 patients enrolled in the main study. Statistical analysis was performed in 90 evaluable patients for whom we had microbiological assessments. Cultures were sterile in 19 patients, and 89 bacterial isolates were found in the other 71. The most frequently isolated bacteria were P aeruginosa (n = 23, 25.8%) and Staphylococcus aureus (n = 12, 13.5%). Previous lower-extremity amputation and a history of using active wound dressings were the only statistically significant independent risk factors for the isolation of P aeruginosa in these DFIs.
This retrospective study provides some information on risk factors for infection with this difficult pathogen in patients with DFI. We need prospective studies in various parts of the world to better define this issue.
Background: We sought to evaluate clinicians’ compliance with national guidelines for tetanus vaccination prophylaxis in patients with high-risk feet.
Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 114 consecutive patients between June 1, 2011, and March 31, 2019, who presented to the emergency department with a foot infection resulting from a puncture injury. Eighty-three patients had diabetes mellitus and 31 patients did not have diabetes mellitus. Electronic medical records were used to collect a broad range of study data on patient demographics, medical history, tetanus immunization history and tetanus status on presentation to the emergency department, peripheral arterial disease, sensory neuropathy, laboratory values, and clinical/surgical outcomes.
Results: Of the 114 patients who presented to the emergency department with a puncture wound, 53 (46.5%) did not have up-to-date tetanus immunization. Of those patients, 79.2% received a tetanus-containing vaccine booster, 3.8% received intramuscular tetanus immunoglobulin, 3.8% received both a tetanus-containing vaccine booster and tetanus immunoglobulins, and 20.8% received no form of tetanus prophylaxis. Comparing data between patients with and without diabetes mellitus, there were no statistically significant differences in tetanus prophylaxis.
Conclusions: Guidelines for tetanus prophylaxis among high-risk podiatric medical patients in this study center are not followed in all patients. Patients with diabetes mellitus are at high risk for exposure to tetanus; therefore, we recommend that physicians take a detailed tetanus immunization history and vaccinate patients if the tetanus history is unclear.
Background: We aimed to investigate whether a home exercise for self-care program that consists of range of motion (ROM), stretching, and strengthening exercises could improve ROM for foot joints and plantar pressure distribution during walking in diabetic patients to prevent diabetic foot complications.
Methods: Seventy-six diabetic patients were recruited (38 with neuropathy and 38 without neuropathy). Neuropathy and nonneuropathy groups were randomly divided into a home exercise group (n = 19) and a control group (n = 19). Exercise groups performed their own respective training programs for 4 weeks, whereas no training was done in the control group. Total contact area and plantar pressure under six foot areas before and after the exercise program were measured. Ankle and first metatarsophalangeal joint ROM were measured before and after the exercise program.
Results: In the exercise group, there were significant improvements in ROM for the ankle and first metatarsophalangeal joints (P < .001); static pedobarographic values showed significant reduction in right forefoot-medial pressure (P = .010); and significant decreases were seen in dynamic pedobarographic values of peak plantar pressure at the left forefoot medial (P = .007), right forefoot lateral (P = .018), left midfoot (P < .001), and right hindfoot (P = .021) after exercise. No significant positive or negative correlation was found between the neuropathy and nonneuropathy groups (P > .05).
Conclusions: A home exercise program could be an effective preventive method for improving ROM for foot joints and plantar pressure distribution in diabetic patients independent of the presence of neuropathy.