Background: A feasibility study was conducted to characterize the effects of noncontact low-frequency ultrasound therapy for chronic, recalcitrant lower-leg and foot ulcerations.
Methods: The study was an open-label, nonrandomized, baseline-controlled clinical case series. Patients were initially treated with the Mayo Clinic standard of care before the addition of or the switch to noncontact low-frequency ultrasound therapy. We analyzed the medical records of 51 patients (median ± SD age, 72 ± 15 years) with one or more of the following conditions: diabetes mellitus, neuropathy, limb ischemia, chronic renal insufficiency, venous disease, and inflammatory connective tissue disease. All of the patients had lower-extremity ulcers, 20% had a history of amputation, and 65% had diabetes. Of all the wounds, 63% had a multifactorial etiology, and 65% had associated transcutaneous oximetry levels below 30 mm Hg.
Results: The mean ± SD treatment time of wounds during the baseline standard of care control period versus the noncontact low-frequency ultrasound therapy period was 9.8 ± 5.5 weeks versus 5.5 ± 2.8 weeks (P < .0001). Initial and end measurements were recorded, and percent volume reduction of the wound was calculated. The mean ± SD percent volume reduction in the baseline standard of care control period versus the noncontact low-frequency ultrasound therapy period was 37.3% ± 18.6% versus 94.9% ± 9.8% (P < .0001).
Conclusions: Using noncontact low-frequency ultrasound improved the rate of healing and closure in recalcitrant lower-extremity ulcerations. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(2): 95–101, 2007)
Background: We sought to examine the economic value of specialized lower-extremity medical care by podiatric physicians in the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers by evaluating cost outcomes for patients with diabetic foot ulcer who did and did not receive care from a podiatric physician in the year before the onset of a foot ulcer.
Methods: We analyzed the economic value among commercially insured patients and Medicare-eligible patients with employer-sponsored supplemental medical benefits using the MarketScan Databases. The analysis consisted of two parts. In part I, we examined cost or savings per patient associated with care by podiatric physicians using propensity score matching and regression techniques; in part II, we extrapolated cost or savings to populations.
Results: Matched and regression-adjusted results indicated that patients who visited a podiatric physician had $13,474 lower costs in commercial plans and $3,624 lower costs in Medicare plans during 2-year follow-up (P < .01 for both). A positive net present value of increasing the share of patients at risk for diabetic foot ulcer by 1% was found, with a range of $1.2 to $17.7 million for employer-sponsored plans and $1.0 to $12.7 million for Medicare plans.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that podiatric medical care can reduce the disease and economic burdens of diabetes. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 93–115, 2011)
A prospective epidemiologic survey on the prevalence of foot disease in Hong Kong found foot disease in 64% of patients screened. All of the patients were ethnically Chinese. Of the conditions specified in the questionnaire, fungal foot infection, tinea pedis, and toenail onychomycosis were the most frequently encountered conditions, followed by metatarsal corns, eczema, psoriasis, and pes planus. Vascular disease, osteoarticular pathology, diabetes mellitus, obesity, atopy, and participation in sports were the main factors coexisting with the foot conditions. Of the study population, 17% and 21% reported that their quality of life was affected by pain and discomfort, respectively. These percentages are much lower than those obtained in other studies; it may therefore be inferred that foot complaints are being neglected by the ethnic Chinese population in Hong Kong. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(8): 450-456, 2002)
This case report presents a rare postoperative dislocation of the fifth metatarsal base following a healed open partial fourth and fifth ray amputation of a 62-year-old male veteran with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus. The dislocated fifth metatarsal base subsequently created a chronic ulceration and an inhibition of normal gait. The patient was taken to the operating room where the fifth metatarsal base was resected with transfer of the peroneus brevis tendon to the cuboid to maintain biomechanical stability. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(1): 71–74, 2012)
Background: Silicone gel sheeting is an effective therapeutic intervention in the management of scar tissue. This pilot study was designed to examine the effect of silicone gel sheeting in preventing reulceration at former wound sites in diabetic patients.
Methods: Thirty patients with diabetes and a healed plantar neuropathic foot ulcer were enrolled and investigated in this randomized controlled trial. Participants with a newly healed ulcer were assigned to use either silicone gel sheeting or emollient cream daily for 3 months.
Results: Compared with emollient cream use, the use of silicone gel sheeting did not diminish and may have potentially increased the risk of reulceration.
Conclusions: Silicone gel sheeting does not seem to reduce the risk of reulceration in diabetic patients. The results of this trial should be viewed with caution given the small sample size. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 116–123, 2011)
The definition of equinus varies from less than 0° to less than 25° of dorsiflexion with the foot at 90° to the leg. Despite its pervasive nature and broad association with many lower-extremity conditions, the prevalence of ankle equinus is unclear. Furthermore, there are few data to suggest whether equinus is predominantly a bilateral finding or isolated to the affected limb only.
We conducted a prospective cohort study examining consecutive patients attending a single foot and ankle specialty practice. Participation involved an assessment of ankle joint range of motion by a single rater with more than 25 years of clinical experience. We defined ankle equinus as ankle joint dorsiflexion range of motion less than or equal to 0° and severe equinus as less than or equal to –5°. Patients who had previously experienced an Achilles tendon rupture, undergone posterior group lengthening (ie, Achilles tendon or gastrocnemius muscle lengthening), or had conservative or surgical treatment of equinus previously were excluded.
Of 249 included patients, 61% were female and 79% nondiabetic. The prevalence of ankle equinus was 73% [183 of 249], and nearly all of these patients had bilateral restriction of ankle joint range of motion (prevalence of bilateral ankle equinus was 98.4% [180 of 183] among those with equinus). We also found that ankle equinus was more common in patients with diabetes, higher body mass indexes (BMIs), or overuse symptoms.
The prevalence of ankle equinus in this sample was higher than previously reported, and nearly all of these patients had bilateral involvement. These data suggest that many people attending foot/ankle specialty clinics will have ankle equinus, and select groups (diabetes, increased BMI, overuse symptoms) are increasingly likely.
Background: Neurologic screening tests are often used to identify and stratify patients at risk for diabetic foot complications such as infections, ulcers, and amputations. Two of the most commonly cited methods are the 5.07 Semmes-Weinstein monofilament (SWM) for loss of protective sensation and vibratory sensation testing. The aim of this study was to determine whether combined SWM and the timed vibration test (TVT) more effectively predicts diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) development compared with each test alone.
Methods: An electronic medical record database search was performed restricted to podiatric medical clinic patients with diabetes and DFU ICD-10 diagnosis codes. Of 200 patients who met the criteria, 24 developed DFUs. A statistical analysis was performed comparing the SWM and TVT at various cutoff times and the combined SWM/TVT in their ability to predict DFUs.
Results: Statistical analysis revealed that the TVT cutoff time of less than 4 sec was superior to the other times for prediction of DFUs. The combined SWM/TVT results at less than 4 sec were superior to each test individually: sensitivity, 87.5%; specificity, 84.7%; positive predictive value, 43.8%; and receiver operating characteristics area under the curve, 0.86.
Conclusions: The SWM combined with TVT was shown to be superior compared with either test alone in discriminating DFU risk. In addition, the TVT cutoff time of less than 4 sec proved to have greater diagnostic yield than other times, including 0 sec. This unexpected finding might impact providers relying on the absence of vibration sensation via tuning fork testing as an optimal marker of DFU risk.
Osteolysis, caused by active resorption of bone matrix by osteoclasts, can be primary or can develop secondary to a variety of disease processes. An elevated level of inflammatory cytokines in the local milieu and increased blood flow secondary to infection or autonomic neuropathy stimulate the osteoclasts and cause bone loss in the diabetic foot. Charcot's neuroarthropathy and osteomyelitis are well-known foot complications of diabetes, and secondary osteolysis has largely been underappreciated and, hence, underreported. Plain radiographs, an initial component in the evaluation of the diabetic foot, may not successfully differentiate secondary osteolysis from osteomyelitis. We describe a patient with phalangeal osteolysis secondary to soft-tissue infection in whom a correct and timely diagnosis helped avoid unnecessary surgical interventions.
Increasing amounts of diabetes-focused content is being posted to YouTube with little regulation as to the quality of the content. Diabetic education has been shown to reduce the risk of ulceration and amputation. YouTube is a frequently visited site for instructional and demonstrational videos posted by individuals, advertisers, companies, and health-care organizations. We sought to evaluate the usefulness of diabetic foot care video information on YouTube.
YouTube was queried using the keyword phrase diabetic foot care. Original videos in English, with audio, less than 10 min long within the first 100 video results were evaluated. Two reviewers classified each video as useful or nonuseful/misleading. A 14-point usefulness criteria checklist was used to further categorize videos as most useful, somewhat useful, or nonuseful/misleading. Video sources were categorized by user type, and additional video metrics were collected.
Of 87 included videos, 56 (64.4%), were classified as useful and 31 (35.6%) as nonuseful/misleading. A significant difference in the mean length of useful videos vs nonuseful/misleading videos was observed (3.33 versus 1.73 min; P < .0001). There was no significant difference in terms of popularity metrics (likes, views, subscriptions, etc) between useful and nonuseful/misleading videos.
This study demonstrates that although most diabetic foot care videos on YouTube are useful, many are still nonuseful/misleading. More concerning is the lack of difference in popularity between useful and nonuseful videos. Podiatric physicians should alert patients to possibly misleading information and offer a curated list of videos.
Background: We sought to evaluate the validity, reliability, and predictive value of the Basic Foot Screening Checklist.
Methods: Five hundred patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance were screened by a generalist foot screener and a specialist podiatric physician to determine the sensitivity and specificity of the Basic Foot Screening Checklist. One hundred twelve of the 500 participants had their feet screened by two foot screeners to determine reliability.
Results: The sensitivity of the screening tool was 0.54 (95% confidence interval, 0.50–0.58), and the specificity was 0.77 (95% confidence interval, 0.73–0.81), with a positive predictive value of 0.82 (95% confidence interval, 0.79–0.85). Overall, the reliability of the tool was poor (κ = 0.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.17–0.53).
Conclusions: The validity and reliability of the Basic Foot Screening Checklist was poor despite the finding that generalist foot screeners performed individual tests with good sensitivity and specificity. This inconsistency was likely attributable to the inability of screeners to adequately interpret the test findings and form accurate risk classification outcomes. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(4): 339–347, 2009)