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.
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%, P30 = .818; 82.2% versus 80.9%, P60 = .422). Mean wound sizes at these follow-up periods were not different (4.4 cm2 versus 5.1 cm2, P30 = .902; 1.2 cm2 versus 1.1 cm2, P60 = .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.
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)
Several nonbiodegradable and biodegradable antibiotic cement delivery systems are available for the delivery of antibiotics for adjunctive therapy in the management of osteomyelitis. A major nonbiodegradable delivery system is polymethylmethacrylate beads. Antibiotics that can be incorporated into this delivery system are limited to the heat-stable antibiotics vancomycin and aminoglycosides, tobramycin being the most popular. Calcium sulfate and hydroxyapatite (Cerament Bone Void Filler) is a unique biocompatible and biodegradable ceramic bone void filler that can successfully deliver heat-stable and heat-unstable antibiotics in musculoskeletal infections. The use of Cerament as antibiotic beads has not been previously reported. An off-label case of diabetic foot osteomyelitis successfully managed with surgical bone resection and vancomycin Cerament antibiotic beads is presented. Subsequent surgery for the bone infection and staged removal of the antibiotic beads was not necessary. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(3): 259–264, 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)
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.
Foot pain and lower-limb neuroischemia in diabetes mellitus is common and can be debilitating and difficult to treat. We report a comparison of orthotic materials to manage foot pain in a 59-year-old man with type 1 diabetes mellitus, peripheral neuropathy, peripheral arterial disease, and a history of foot ulceration. We investigated a range of in-shoe foot orthoses for comfort and plantar pressure reduction in a cross-sectional study. The most comfortable and most effective pressure-reducing orthoses were subsequently evaluated for pain relief in a single system alternating-treatment design. After 9 weeks, foot pain was completely resolved with customized multidensity foot orthoses. The outcome of this case study suggests that customized multidensity foot orthoses may be a useful intervention to reduce foot pain and maintain function in the neuroischemic diabetic foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(2): 143–148, 2008)
Background: An observational study was conducted to assess the prevalence of onychomycosis in clinically suspected diabetic neuropathic patients and to assess the reliability of the diagnosis.
Methods: One hundred successive type 1 and 2 diabetic patients with diabetic neuropathy were followed. Diabetic neuropathy was defined by a vibration perception threshold greater than 25 V and onychomycosis by clinical diagnosis. Samples of the most affected nail were taken. Potassium hydroxide testing and culture were performed. Photographs of the nails were used by two dermatologists for diagnosis.
Results: The mean ± SE age was 62.3 ± 11.4 years for the 20 onychomycotic patients and 60.3 ± 10.4 years for the entire cohort; 14 onychomycotic patients (70%) were male versus 56 in the full cohort (56%) (P < .05). The prevalence of onychomycosis was 20% (culture and potassium hydroxide test positive) and 24% (culture positive). Twenty or 30 patients were positive by the potassium hydroxide test, depending on the investigator. The most frequent pathogen found was Trichophyton rubrum (11 of 20 patients; 55%). The positive predictive values of the dermatologist’s diagnoses were 57.8% and 35.6%, and the negative predictive values were 85.0% and 90.5%. The two expert’s results were significantly different (P < .05).
Conclusions: The diagnosis of onychomycosis is difficult to make. The diagnostic methods commonly used are not satisfactory. If onychomycosis is dangerous for the diabetic foot, a better diagnostic method is needed. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(2): 135–139, 2009)
Elevated dynamic plantar pressures are a consistent finding in diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy, with implications for plantar foot ulceration. This study aimed to investigate whether a first-ray amputation affects plantar pressures and plantar pressure distribution patterns in individuals living with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy.
A nonexperimental matched-subject design was conducted. Twenty patients living with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy were recruited. Group 1 (n = 10) had a first-ray amputation and group 2 (n = 10) had an intact foot with no history of ulceration. Plantar foot pressures and pressure-time integrals were measured under the second to fourth metatarsophalangeal joints, fifth metatarsophalangeal joint, and heel using a pressure platform.
Peak plantar pressures under the second to fourth metatarsophalangeal joints were significantly higher in participants with a first-ray amputation (P = .008). However, differences under the fifth metatarsophalangeal joint (P = .734) and heel (P = .273) were nonsignificant. Pressure-time integrals were significantly higher under the second to fourth metatarsophalangeal joints in participants with a first-ray amputation (P = .016) and in the heel in the control group (P = .046).
Plantar pressures and pressure-time integrals seem to be significantly higher in patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy and a first-ray amputation compared with those with diabetic neuropathy and an intact foot. Routine plantar pressure screening, orthotic prescription, and education should be recommended in patients with a first-ray amputation.