A rare and unusual case of plasma cell dyscrasia of the calcaneus is presented. Clinically, the patient had a draining and painful ulcer that was treated with appropriate antibiotics and wound care but failed to show any signs of healing. Radiographic images showed cystic changes of the calcaneus in the vicinity of the ulcer. Blood work was negative for bone and soft-tissue infection, but uric acid and alkaline phosphatase levels were elevated. Nuclear bone scan showed increased uptake in the calcaneus suggestive of osteomyelitis. One possible differential diagnosis was an intraosseous gouty tophus deposit. Not convinced that this was either a bone infection or gout, the author performed a bone biopsy. Pathologic evaluation indicated plasma cell dyscrasia. Continued wound care healed the ulcer completely, with resolution of pain of his heel. Oncology/hematology was consulted, and 16 months after biopsy, he remains asymptomatic.
An increased reliance on vancomycin to treat bacterial infections has led to the emergence of vancomycin-resistant organisms. The podiatric physician must select and use vancomycin with due caution. This article presents a general review of vancomycin’s pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and dosing recommendations. Literature citations of clinically based evidence regarding the development and use of vancomycin nomograms are also presented. A vancomycin dosing nomogram is introduced as an effective tool for the prescribing podiatric physician. Appropriate use of the information presented may improve patient outcomes and enable the podiatric physician to treat patients with less effort and at a lower cost. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(4): 389–394, 2004)
Background: To evaluate complications and risk factors for nonunion in patients with diabetes after ankle fracture.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of 139 patients with diabetes and ankle fractures followed for 1 year. We evaluated the incidence of wounds, infections, nonunions, Charcot’s arthropathy, and amputations. We determined Fracture severity (unimalleolar, bimalleolar, trimalleolar), nonunion, and Charcot’s arthropathy from radiographs. Nonunion was defined as a fracture that did not heal within 6 months of fracture. Analysis of variance was used to compare continuous variables, and χ2 tests to compare dichotomous variables, with α = 0.05. Logistic regression was performed with a binary variable representing nonunions as the dependent variable.
Results: Complications were common: nonunion (24.5%), Charcot’s arthropathy (7.9%), wounds (5.2%), wound site infection (17.3%), and leg amputation (2.2%). Patients with nonunions were more likely to be male (55.9% versus 29.5%; P = .005), have sensory neuropathy (76.5% versus 32.4%; P < .001), have end-stage renal disease (17.6% versus 2.9%; P < .001), and use insulin (73.5% versus 40.1%; P < .001), β-blockers (58.8% versus 39.0%; P = .049), and corticosteroids (26.5% versus 9.5%; P = .02). Among patients with nonunion, there was an increased risk of wounds (odds ratio [OR], 3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.46–7.73), infection (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 0.72–5.61), amputation (OR, 7.74; 95% CI, 1.01–100.23), and long-term bracing (OR, 9.51; 95% CI, 3.8–23.8). In the logistic regression analysis, four factors were associated with fracture nonunion: dialysis (OR, 7.7; 95% CI, 1.7–35.2), insulin use (OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.5–7.4), corticosteroid use (OR, 4.9; 95% CI, 1.4–18.0), and ankle fracture severity (bimalleolar or trimalleolar fracture) (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.1–5.4).
Conclusions: These results demonstrate risk factors for nonunions: dialysis, insulin use, and fracture severity after ankle fracture in patients with diabetes.
Emergency department visits for lower extremity complications of diabetes are extremely common throughout the world. Surprisingly, recent data suggest that such visits generate an 81.2% hospital admission rate with an annual bill of at least $1.2 billion in the United States alone. The likelihood of amputation and other subsequent adverse outcomes is strongly associated with three factors: 1) wound severity (degree of tissue loss), 2) ischemia, and 3) foot infection. Using these factors, this article outlines the basic principles needed to create an evidence-based, rapid foot assessment for diabetic foot ulcers presenting to the emergency department, and suggests the establishment of a “hot foot line” for an organized, expeditious response from limb salvage team members. We present a nearly immediate assessment and referral system for patients with atraumatic tissue loss below the knee that has the potential to vastly expedite lower extremity triage in the emergency room setting through greater collaboration and organization.
Neuropathic foot ulcers are a common complication in patients with diabetes. These ulcers are often slow to heal and can lead to infection, further tissue destruction, osteomyelitis, and amputation. These patients pose a challenge to clinicians who must determine the best treatment options while balancing the risks, benefits, and costs. Conservative therapies often present disappointing results, and a number of newer “biologic bandages” have been developed to better assist the healing process. We describe results from diabetic patients with neuropathic foot ulcers treated with a new amniotic membrane–based allograft.
External fixation was used to reduce or arrest progressive degeneration in 28 patients with Charcot’s foot dislocations. Adjunctive procedures included tendo Achilles lengthening and application of an external bone stimulator. Advantages of using external fixation are that surgeries are usually performed percutaneously and that most patients are weightbearing in 10 to 14 days. There was no incidence of pin tract infection or further foot collapse, with the longest follow-up period being 24 months. The authors propose that use of external fixation with bone stimulation may be an effective alternative method of treating the Charcot foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(8): 429-436, 2002)
Over a time frame of less than 1 year, a 23-year-old competitive horseback rider experienced a midsubstance tear of both the tibialis anterior and extensor hallucis longus tendons without inciting injury. It was after the second spontaneous tear that the patient's recent diagnosis of Lyme disease became the likely culprit. Often, patients with chronic Lyme disease present with an elaborate clinical picture that can mimic many more common diagnoses such as septic arthritis, transient synovitis, ligamentous sprain, and various other traumatic injuries. With the pathognomonic erythema migrans rash reported to be present less than 50% of the time in late-stage infections, the diagnosis of Lyme disease can often be difficult, with a high rate of underdiagnosis. It is important that Lyme disease be included in the differential diagnosis of spontaneous tendon pathology, especially for physicians practicing in highly endemic areas. The treatment is relatively simple and successful—especially for an acute infection—and it is important to initiate treatment promptly to prevent disability.
Pitted keratolysis is a bacterial infection that affects the plantar epidermis. Despite the condition being reported in many countries affecting both shod and unshod populations, there is little guidance for clinicians providing evidence or best practice guidelines on the management of this often stubborn infection.
Using a structured search of a range of databases, papers were identified that reported treatments tested on patients with the condition.
Most of the literature uncovered was generally of a low level, such as case-based reporting or small case series. Studies were focused mainly on the use of topical antibiotic agents, such as clindamycin, erythromycin, fusidic acid, and mupirocin, often in combination with other measures, such as hygiene advice and the use of antiperspirants. From the limited evidence available, the use of topical antibiotic agents shows some efficacy in the treatment of pitted keratolysis. However, there is currently no suggestion that oral antibiotic drug therapy alone is effective in managing the condition.
Currently, there is no consensus on the most effective approach to managing pitted keratolysis, but a combination of antimicrobial agents and adjunctive measures, such as antiperspirants, seems to demonstrate the most effective approach from the current literature available.
Ciprofloxacin and other fluoroquinolones are commonly used broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents for treating bacterial infections. This class of antibiotic drugs has uncommon adverse effects that include tendonitis, tendon ruptures, and other tendon abnormalities. We describe a patient with spontaneous bilateral complete Achilles tendon rupture after ciprofloxacin treatment. Surgical repair was performed successfully, and the patient completed physical rehabilitation without incident. Care should be exercised when selecting pharmaceutical agents to maintain a positive benefit-to-risk balance.
A 17-year-old boy presented with a totally dislocated talus and open bimalleolar ankle fracture dislocation. After thorough debridement and irrigation, the talus and bimalleolar fracture were reduced and fixed. At 21 months after surgery, he could walk using regular shoes without any aid but with moderate pain in the sinus tarsi during activities. No evidence of osteonecrosis or infection was seen in the last radiograph, except for a small degree of narrowing in the talonavicular joint. Reimplantation and fixation of pantalar dislocation seems to have an acceptable outcome.