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)
Background: Several studies have established an association between diabetic neuropathy and depressive symptoms. There is a link between depression and peripheral neuropathy in diabetic patients, suggesting an increased likelihood that diabetic patients will experience depressive symptoms related to lower-extremity peripheral neuropathy and arthritis during middle age and later life. The goal of this investigation was to determine whether there are age differences between insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients regarding their feelings of hopelessness and toe pain.
Methods: A large population-based sample of 32,006 adults from the 1998 National Health Interview Survey was analyzed with multivariate statistical procedures. We performed χ2 and correlation procedures to test the null hypothesis that there are no age or sex differences between insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients in their reporting of feelings of hopelessness and toe pain symptoms in the previous 12 months.
Results: There were significant differences between age and sex groups of insulin-dependent and non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients in reporting feelings of hopelessness and toe pain symptoms, rejecting the null hypothesis. Correlational analysis conducted between the variables of hopelessness and toe pain yielded significant correlations in insulin-dependent (r = .28; P = .0009; α = .05), and non-insulin-dependent (r = 0.19; P = .001; α = .05) women older than 61 years, concluding that diabetic women are more likely to experience hopelessness and toe pain in that age group regardless of insulin status.
Conclusions: Clinicians should incorporate depression and toe pain symptoms into their assessment and treatment, especially in diabetic women older than 61 years. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(6): 445–451, 2010)
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.
Nerve entrapment, common in diabetes, is considered an associated phenomenon without large consequence in the development of diabetes complications such as ulceration, infection, amputation, and early mortality. This prospective analysis, with controls, of the ulcer recurrence rate after operative nerve decompression (ND) offers an objective perspective on the possibility of frequent occult nerve entrapment in the diabetic foot complication cascade.
A multicenter cohort of 42 patients with diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy, failed pharmacologic pain control, palpable pulses, and at least one positive Tinel's nerve percussion sign was treated with unilateral multiple lower-leg external neurolyses for the indication of pain. All of the patients had healed at least one previous ipsilateral plantar diabetic foot ulceration (DFU). This group was retrospectively evaluated a minimum of 12 months after operative ND and again 3 years later. The recurrence risk of ipsilateral DFU in that period was prospectively analyzed and compared with new ulcer occurrence in the contralateral intact, nonoperated control legs.
Operated legs developed two ulcer recurrences (4.8%), and nine contralateral control legs developed ulcers (21.4%), requiring three amputations. Ulcer risk is 1.6% per patient per year in ND legs and 7% in nonoperated control legs (P = .048).
Adding operative ND at lower-leg fibro-osseous tunnels to standard postulcer treatment resulted in a significantly diminished rate of subsequent DFU in neuropathic high-risk feet. This is prospective, objective evidence that ND can provide valuable ongoing protection from DFU recurrence, even years after primary ulcer healing.
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is an essential precursor leading to diabetic limb loss. Neurologic screening tests, including the 128-Hz tuning fork (TF), have long been used to identify and track the progression of DPN, thereby guiding the implementation of preventive strategies. Although a sensitive indicator of neuropathy, shortcomings of TF testing include the lack of standardization and quantification of clinical findings. In an attempt to overcome these limitations, a novel 128-Hz electronic TF (ETF) prototype has been developed that is capable of performing accurate timed vibration tests (TVTs). This study was designed to assess the ability of the ETF to detect sensory impairment compared with three established neurologic screening methods: the Semmes-Weinstein monofilament test, the biothesiometer, and the sharp/dull discrimination test.
Fifty-five test patients were recruited from the primary author's practice and enrolled according to an approved protocol. The 10-g Semmes-Weinstein monofilament test and the sharp/dull discrimination test were administered in standard fashion to the plantar aspects of digits 1 and 5 bilaterally. The ETF and the biothesiometer (25-V setting) were applied to the dorsal aspects of the distal phalanx of the hallux and fifth metatarsal head bilaterally.
The sensitivity and specificity of neuropathy detection for the ETF were 0.953 and 0.761, respectively, using conventional tests as reference standards.
Performance of TVTs with the ETF detected sensory impairment compared with three conventional neurologic screening methods. Given these findings, the ETF could facilitate the use of standardized TVTs as an indicator of DPN progression.
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.
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.
Elevated plantar pressures are an important predictor of diabetic foot ulceration. The objective of this study was to determine which clinical examination variables predict high plantar pressures in diabetic feet. In a cross-sectional study of 152 male veterans with diabetes mellitus, data were collected on demographics, comorbid conditions, disease severity, neuropathy status, vascular disease, and orthopedic and gait examinations. Univariate predictors included height, weight, body surface area, body weight per square inch of foot surface area, bunion deformity, hammer toe, Romberg’s sign, insensitivity to monofilament, absent joint position sense, decreased ankle dorsiflexion, and fat pad atrophy. Variables that remained significantly associated with high plantar pressures (≥4 kg/cm2) in multivariate analysis included height, body weight per square inch of foot surface area, Romberg’s sign, and insensitivity to monofilament. These results may be useful in identifying patients who would benefit from interventions designed to decrease plantar foot pressures. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(5): 367-372, 2003)