Treatment of chronic wounds of the lower extremity requires a systematic, multidisciplinary approach as well as flexibility in order to achieve acceptable, consistent short-term and long-term results. Maggots, once considered an obsolete therapeutic modality, can be a useful addition to the armamentarium of the foot and ankle specialist. This article describes the use of maggot debridement therapy for intractable wounds of the lower extremity. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(7): 398-401, 2002)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is both sensitive and specific in the diagnosis of osteomyelitis, and it is an important imaging modality in preoperative planning of resection of infected bone. In many cases, however, the extent of osseous infection is evident on plain radiographs, and little additional information is gained from the MRI. The goal of this study was to assess the accuracy of radiographs against MRIs in assessing the spread of suspected osteomyelitis from one phalanx to another or to a metatarsal.
A medical record review was performed, and 14 patients with 16 toes confirmed to have osteomyelitis involving one or more phalanges were included in the study. An investigator blinded to the MRI findings interpreted the extent of osseous involvement based solely on the radiographic and clinical presentation. The accuracy of the radiographic interpretation was then calculated against the MRI findings.
In 14 of the 16 toes (87.5%), whether osteomyelitis had spread from one bone to another was determined based on the radiographic and clinical presentation. In one toe, the radiograph did not adequately depict osteomyelitis in adjacent infected bone. In one more toe, the radiograph depicted features of osteomyelitis in uninfected bone.
In a large percentage of patients, the phalanges affected by osteomyelitis had visible findings on the radiograph, and operative planning could have been based on the radiograph alone.
Homeless people live in poverty, with limited access to public health services. They are likely to experience chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes mellitus; however, they do not always receive the necessary services to prevent complications. This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of a volunteer health service outreach to reduce disparity in diabetic foot care for homeless people.
The research was conducted on 21 patients with diabetic ulcers of 930 homeless people visited between 2008 and 2013. Each ulcer was treated with regular medication every week for a mean ± SD of 17.6 ± 12 months. The inclusion criteria were 1) homeless with a previous diagnosis of diabetes or a blood glucose level greater than 126 mg/dL at first check and 2) foot ulcer caused by diabetic vasculopathy or neuropathy. The efficacy of the interventions was assessed against the number of successfully cured diabetic feet based on a reduced initial Wagner classification score for each ulcer.
Clinical improvement was observed in 18 patients (86%), whose pathologic condition was completely resolved after 3 years and, therefore, no longer needed medication. One patient died of septic shock and kidney failure, and two patients needed amputation owing to clinical worsening of ulcers (Wagner class 4 at the last visit).
Most homeless people who have diabetes and diabetic foot encounter many difficulties managing their disease, and a volunteer health-care unit could be a suitable option to bridge these gaps.
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.
We sought to determine the prevalence of lower-extremity arterial calcification in a cohort of patients with diabetes and associated foot pathology receiving inpatient treatment at an urban US tertiary health-care system.
The primary outcome measure was defined as either radiographic evidence of vessel calcification or noninvasive vascular testing that resulted in any reporting of vessel noncompressibility or an ankle-brachial index greater than 1.1. Radiographic evidence of vessel calcification was defined as radiodense calcification in the proximal first intermetatarsal space (deep plantar perforating artery), anterior ankle (anterior tibial artery), or posterior ankle (posterior tibial artery) on dorsoplantar and lateral foot projections.
Of the 367 individuals included in the study, 359 underwent radiography, with radiographic evidence of calcification in 192 (53.5%). Noninvasive vascular testing was performed on 265 participants, with any reporting of noncompressibility or an ankle-brachial index greater than 1.1 observed in 153 (57.7%). Ninety-four participants (25.6%) demonstrated evidence of arterial calcification on the radiographs and noninvasive testing, meaning that 251 participants (68.4%) demonstrated evidence of arterial calcification on at least one test, including 63.6% of participants classified as black/African American race, 65.4% as white race, and 78.3% as Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.
The results of this investigation increase the body of knowledge with respect to the evaluation and treatment of diabetic foot disease and may lead to future investigations on the topic of lower-extremity arterial calcification.
Retrograde intramedullary nailing for tibiotalocalcaneal arthrodesis (TTCA) is used for severe hindfoot deformities, end-stage arthritis, and limb salvage. The procedure is technically demanding, with complications such as infection, hardware failure, nonunion, osteomyelitis, and possible limb loss or death. This study reports the outcomes and complications of patients undergoing TTCA with a femoral nail, which is widely available and offers an extensive range of lengths and diameters.
We performed a retrospective review of 104 patients who underwent 109 TTCAs using a femoral nail as the primary procedure (January 2006 through December 2016). Demographic data, risk factors, and outcomes were evaluated.
At final follow-up, the overall clinical union rate was 89 of 109 (81.7%). Diabetes mellitus was negatively associated with limb salvage (P = .03), and peripheral neuropathy (P = .02) and Charcot's neuroarthropathy (P = .03) were negatively associated with clinical union. Only four patients (3.8%) underwent proximal amputation, at an average of 6.1 months, and 11 patients (10.6%) died, at a mean of 38.0 months. The most common complication was ulceration in 27 of 109 limbs (24.8%), followed by infection in 25 (22.9%). Twenty-three patients (22.1%) underwent revision procedures, at a mean of 9.4 months. Thirteen of these 23 patients (56.5%) had antibiotic cement rod spacers/rods for deep infection–related complications.
Use of a femoral nail has been shown to provide similar outcomes and limb salvage rates compared with other methods of TTCA reported for similar indications in the literature.
Porcine-derived xenograft biological dressings (PXBDs) are occasionally used to prepare chronic wound beds for definitive closure before split-thickness skin grafts (STSGs). We sought to determine whether PXBD influences rate of STSG take in lower-extremity wounds.
Lower-extremity wounds treated with STSGs were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were included in one of two groups: wound bed preparation with PXBD before STSG or no preparation. Patients were excluded if they received wound bed preparation via another method. Patient demographics, comorbidities, wound history, wound bed preparation, and 30- and 60-day outcomes were collected.
There was no difference in healing outcomes between the PXBD (n = 27) and no preparation (n = 39) groups. At 30- and 60-day follow-up, percentage of STSG take was not significantly different between groups (77.9% versus 79.0%, P 30 = .818; 82.2% versus 80.9%, P 60 = .422). Mean wound sizes at these follow-up periods were not different (4.4 cm2 versus 5.1 cm2, P 30 = .902; 1.2 cm2 versus 1.1 cm2, P 60 = .689). The PXBD group had a higher mean ± SD hemoglobin A1c level (8.3 ± 3.5 versus 6.9 ± 1.6; P = .074) and age (64.9 ± 12.8 years versus 56.3 ± 11.9 years; P = .007) versus the no preparation group.
Application of PXBDs for wound bed preparation had no effect on wound healing compared with no wound bed preparation. The two groups varied only by mean age and hemoglobin A1c level. The PXBD may be beneficial, but these results call for randomized controlled trials to determine the true impact of PXBDs on wound healing. In addition, PXBDs may have utility outside of clinically oriented outcomes, and future work should address patient-reported outcomes and pain scores with this adjunct.
The aim of this study was to observe the pressure changes in the felt padding used to off-load pressure from the first metatarsal head, the effects obtained by different designs, and the loss of effectiveness over time.
With a study population of 17 persons, two types of 5-mm semicompressed felt padding were tested: one was C-shaped, with an aperture cutout at the first metatarsophalangeal joint, and the other was U-shaped. Pressures on the sole of the foot were evaluated with a platform pressure measurement system at three time points: before fitting the felt padding, immediately afterward, and 3 days later.
In terms of decreased mean pressure on the first metatarsal, significant differences were obtained in all of the participants (P < .001). For plantar pressures on the central metatarsals, the differences between all states and time points were significant for the C-shaped padding in both feet (P < .001), but with the U-shaped padding the only significant differences were between no padding and padding and at day 3 (P = .01 and P = .02).
In healthy individuals, the U-shaped design, with a padding thickness of 5 mm, achieved a more effective and longer-lasting reduction in plantar pressure than the C-shaped design.
Background: Frequent use of walking boots in podiatric medicine often elicits patient complaints and sequelae from the imposed limb-length discrepancy. This study was designed primarily to determine whether peak plantar pressures are decreased in the contralateral foot when a moderately worn athletic shoe is worn opposite a high-calf walking boot and, if so, secondarily to determine whether a specialized surgical shoe worn on the contralateral foot can also effectively reduce this pressure. The pressure reductions were then compared to determine whether significantly greater plantar pressure reduction was provided by either the athletic shoe or the surgical shoe.
Methods: Participants without a foot abnormality walked on a treadmill in four footwear combinations: barefoot bilaterally, high-calf rocker-bottom sole (HCRB) walking boot/ barefoot, HCRB walking boot/athletic shoe, and HCRB walking boot/modified walking boot shoe. Measurements were taken with the participants wearing socks. Peak plantar calcaneal pressures were collected.
Results: Peak plantar pressures under the calcaneus opposite the HCRB walking boot were significantly reduced from barefoot pressures when either an athletic shoe or the modified walking boot shoe was worn. However, no significant difference was seen when comparing the reduction by the athletic shoe with that by the modified walking boot.
Conclusions: Wearing an athletic shoe on the foot opposite an HCRB walking boot reduces calcaneal pressures; however, wearing a modified device with structural properties of an HCRB walking boot sole is no better than an athletic shoe at reducing peak calcaneal pressures. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 127–132, 2011)
The timely and accurate noninvasive assessment of peripheral arterial disease is a critical component of a limb preservation initiative in patients with diabetes mellitus. Noninvasive vascular studies can be useful in screening patients with diabetes for peripheral arterial disease. In patients with clinical signs or symptoms, noninvasive vascular studies provide crucial information on the presence, location, and severity of peripheral arterial disease and an objective assessment of the potential for primary healing of an index wound or a surgical incision. Appropriately selected noninvasive vascular studies are important in the decision-making process to determine whether and what type of intervention might be most appropriate given the clinical circumstances. Hemodynamic monitoring is likewise important after either an endovascular procedure or a surgical bypass. Surveillance studies, usually with a combination of physiologic testing and imaging with duplex ultrasound, accurately identify recurrent disease before the occurrence of thrombosis, allowing targeted reintervention. Noninvasive vascular studies can be broadly grouped into three general categories: physiologic or hemodynamic measurements, anatomical imaging, and measurements of tissue perfusion. These types of tests and suggestions for their appropriate application in patients with diabetes are reviewed. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 406–411, 2010)