A 66-year-old man was admitted to a hospital rehabilitation unit for the management of chronic groin pain. Since the groin pain began, he had been unable to bear weight on his right foot. During a podiatric examination, the patient reported sharp pain at the apex of his right hallux. A full podiatric assessment was undertaken to evaluate his vascular, neurologic, and biomechanical status. The patient’s ankle-brachial index was found to be 0.34 in the right lower limb and 0.68 in the left lower limb. After vascular assessment, the patient was diagnosed as having chronic ischemia of the right leg. He underwent left-to-right femoral-to-femoral bypass graft surgery to salvage the right lower leg and foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(5): 402–404, 2007)
Toe amputation is the most common partial foot amputation. Controversy exists regarding whether to primarily close toe amputations or to leave them open for secondary healing. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the results of closed toe amputations in diabetic patients, with respect to wound healing, complications, and the need for further higher level amputation.
We retrospectively reviewed the results of 40 elective or semi-elective toe amputations with primary closure performed in 35 patients treated in a specialized diabetic foot unit. Patients with abscesses or necrotizing fasciitis were treated emergently and were excluded. Patients in whom clean margins could not be achieved due to extensive cellulitis or tenosynovitis and patients requiring vascular intervention were excluded as well. Outcome endpoints included wound healing at 3 weeks, delayed wound healing, or subsequent higher level amputation.
Out of 40 amputations, 38 healed well. Thirty amputations healed by the time of stitch removal at 3 weeks and eight had delayed healing. In two patients the wounds did not heal and subsequent higher level amputation was eventually required.
In carefully selected diabetic foot patients, primary closure of toe amputations is a safe surgical option. We do not recommend primary closure when infection control is not achieved or in patients requiring vascular reconstruction. Careful patient selection, skillful assessment of debridement margins and meticulous technique are required and may be offered by experienced designated surgeons in a specialized diabetic foot unit.
Complex soft-tissue injuries consist of difficult traumatic injuries caused by high-energy mechanisms such as motor vehicle accidents, lawnmower injuries, and crush injuries from heavy objects. Many times, because of the high-energy trauma, there is significant damage to the soft tissue and underlying bone, leading to a complex situation for healing. In this case report, a 43-year-old woman presented with extensive degloving injury and open fractures of the forefoot resulting from a lawnmower accident. After extensive irrigation and debridement, wound closure was achieved using a full-thickness skin graft (FTSG). Although many case reports have been published about management of these complex soft-tissue injuries, there are no reports on using an autologous FTSG from a neighboring digit undergoing distal amputation for wound coverage. This report discusses the technique of using an autologous FTSG from an amputated specimen to achieve wound coverage with adequate limb salvage principles.
Diabetic foot ulcers combined with ischemia and infection can be difficult to treat. Few studies have quantified the level of blood supply and infection control required to treat such complex diabetic foot ulcers. We aimed to propose an index for ischemia and infection control in diabetic chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) with forefoot osteomyelitis.
We retrospectively evaluated 30 patients with diabetic CLTI combined with forefoot osteomyelitis who were treated surgically from January 2009 to December 2016. After 44 surgeries, we compared patient background (age, sex, hemodialysis), infection status (preoperative and 1- and 2-week postoperative C-reactive protein [CRP] levels), surgical bone margin (with or without osteomyelitis), vascular supply (skin perfusion pressure), ulcer size (wound grade 0–3 using the Society for Vascular Surgery Wound, Ischemia, and foot Infection classification), and time to wound healing between patients with healing ulcers and those with nonhealing ulcers.
Preoperative CRP levels and the ratio of ulcers classified as wound grade 3 were significantly lower and skin perfusion pressure was significantly higher in the healing group than in the nonhealing group (P < .05). No other significant differences were found between groups.
This study demonstrates that debridement should be performed first to control infection if the preoperative CRP level is greater than 40 mg/L. Skin perfusion pressure of 55 mm Hg is strongly associated with successful treatment. We believe that this research could improve the likelihood of salvaging limbs in patients with diabetes with CLTI.
At the end of an anatomical peninsula, the foot in diabetes is prone to short- and long-term complications involving neuropathy, vasculopathy, and infection. Effective management requires an interdisciplinary effort focusing on this triad. Herein, we describe the key factors leading to foot complications and the critical skill sets required to assemble a team to care for them. Although specific attention is given to a conjoined model involving podiatric medicine and vascular surgery, the so-called toe and flow model, we further outline three separate programmatic models of care—basic, intermediate, and center of excellence—that can be implemented in the developed and developing world. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 342–348, 2010)
First-line therapy for diabetic patients presenting with intermittent claudication includes supervised exercise programs to improve walking distance. However, exercise comes with a variety of barriers and may be contraindicated in certain conditions. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether calf muscle electrostimulation improves claudication distance.
A prospective, one-group, pretest-posttest study design was used on 40 participants living with type 2 diabetes mellitus, peripheral artery disease (ankle brachial pressure index, <0.90), and calf muscle claudication. Calf muscle electrostimulation of varying frequencies (1–250 Hz) was prescribed on both limbs for 1-hour daily sessions for 12 consecutive weeks. The absolute claudication distance (ACD) was measured at baseline and after the intervention.
The recruited cohort (30 men and ten women; mean age, 71 years; mean ankle brachial pressure index, 0.70) registered a mean ± SD baseline ACD of 333.71 ± 208 m. After a mean ± SD of 91.68 ± 6.23 days of electrical stimulation, a significant mean ± SD increase of 137 ± 136 m in the ACD (P = .001, Wilcoxon signed rank test) was registered. Improvement was found to be sex independent, but age was negatively correlated with proportion of improvement (r = –0.361; P = .011, Pearson correlation test).
Electrical stimulation of varying frequencies on ischemic calf muscles significantly increased the maximal walking capacity in claudicants with type 2 diabetes. This therapeutic approach should be considered in patients with impaired exercise tolerance or as an adjunct treatment modality.
Background: The deep plantar arterial arch (DPAA) is formed by an anastomosis between the deep plantar artery and the lateral plantar artery. The potential risk of injury to the DPAA is concerning when performing transmetatarsal amputations, and care must be taken to preserve the anatomy. We sought to determine the positional anatomy of the DPAA based on anatomical landmarks that could be easily identified and palpated during transmetatarsal amputation.
Methods: In an effort to improve our understanding of the positional relationship of the DPAA to the distal metatarsal parabola, dissections were performed on 45 cadaveric feet to measure the location of the DPAA with respect to the distal metatarsal epiphyses. Images of the dissected specimens were digitally acquired and saved for measurement using in-house–written software. The mean, SD, SEM, and 95% confidence interval were calculated for all of the measurement parameters and are reported on pooled data and by sex. An independent-samples t test was used to assess for sex differences. Interrater reliability of the measurements was estimated using the intraclass correlation coefficient.
Results: The origin of the DPAA was located a mean ± SD of 35.6 ± 3.9 mm (95% confidence interval, 34.5–36.8 mm) proximal to the perpendicular line connecting the first and fifth metatarsal heads. The average interrater reliability across all of the measurements was 0.921.
Conclusions: This study provides the positional relationship of the DPAA with respect to the distal metatarsal parabola. This method is easily reproducible and may assist the foot and ankle surgeon with surgical planning and approach when performing partial pedal amputation.