Through a discussion of the etiology and pathology of diabetic foot lesions with particular emphasis on ulceration and osteoarthropathy, the author will develop a plan for treatment and prevention using a multidisciplinary approach to such problems. Underlying risk factors including neuropathy, ischemia, infection, and, especially high pressures must be evaluated and appropriately ameliorated in order to promote resolution and avoidance of recidivism. Accordingly, conservative management with pressure-relieving devices, topical therapies, and prophylactic surgery on structural deformities plays an integral part in the overall podiatric management of the high-risk foot in diabetes mellitus.
Background: In diabetic patients with complications from peripheral neuropathy, the hyperpressure areas can rapidly lead to ulcerative lesions in the absence of protective sensation. Partial digital silicone orthoses could provide an innovative and functional therapeutic solution in the management of preulcerative areas of the forefoot in neuropathic diabetic patients. We clinically tested this hypothesis.
Methods: Digital off-loading silicone padding was prepared for 89 neuropathic patients with deformities and localized hyperkeratosis in the forefoot. After 3 months and in basal conditions, the number of areas of hyperkeratosis was evaluated together with the hardness of the skin, the number of active lesions, and any adverse events associated with use of the orthosis. The patients were compared to a control group of 78 randomized patients undergoing standard therapy. In a subgroup of 10 patients, a static and dynamic biomechanical evaluation was also conducted with a computerized podobarometric platform.
Results: Both the number of lesions and the prevalence of hyperkeratosis and skin hardness were significantly lower (P < .01) in the group treated with the silicone orthoses than in the control group. No adverse events were reported during the 3 months of observation. The podobarometric analysis highlighted a significant (P < .001) reduction of peak pressure in the areas undergoing orthotic correction.
Conclusions: Silicone padding is effective and safe in the prevention of lesions in neuropathic patients at high risk of ulceration and significantly reduces the incidence of new lesions in the 3-month follow-up period compared to standard treatment. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(1): 28–34, 2009)
This historical perspective highlights some of the pioneers, milestones, teams, and system changes that have had a major impact on management of the diabetic foot during the past 100 years. In 1934, American diabetologist Elliott P. Joslin noted that mortality from diabetic coma had fallen from 60% to 5% after the introduction of insulin, yet deaths from diabetic gangrene of the lower extremity had risen significantly. He believed that diabetic gangrene was preventable. His remedy was a team approach that included foot care, diet, exercise, prompt treatment of foot infections, and specialized surgical care.
The history of the team approach to management of the diabetic foot chronicles the rise of a new health profession—podiatric medicine and surgery—and emergence of the specialty of vascular surgery. The partnership among the diabetologist, vascular surgeon, and podiatric surgeon is a natural one. The complementary skills and knowledge of each can improve limb salvage and functional outcomes. Comprehensive multidisciplinary foot-care programs have been shown to increase quality of care and reduce amputation rates by 36% to 86%. Development of distal revascularization techniques to restore pulsatile blood flow to the foot has also been a major advancement.
Patients with diabetic foot complications are among the most complex and vulnerable of all patient populations. Specialized diabetic foot clinics of the 21st century should be multidisciplinary and equipped to coordinate diagnosis, off-loading, and preventive care; to perform revascularization procedures; to aggressively treat infections; and to manage medical comorbidities. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 317–334, 2010)
BACKGROUND: Multiple organizations have issued guidelines to address the prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetic foot ulcers. These guidelines are based on evidence review and expert opinion. <p>METHODS: Literature review was conducted and guidelines were reviewed to identify consensus (or lack thereof) on the nature of these recommendations, the strength of the recommendations and the level of evidence.</p> <p>RESULTS: Most guidelines were not based on highest level of evidence (randomized controlled trials). A listing of recommendations for prevention, diagnosis and management was created with evidence basis for all recommendations.</p> <p>CONCLUSIONS: Areas for future research were identified among recommendations based on minimal evidence, areas of controversy, or in areas of clinical care without recommendations.</p>
Background: Despite prevention efforts, suicide rates continue to rise, prompting the need for novel evidence-based approaches to suicide prevention. Patients presenting with foot and ankle disorders in a podiatric medical and surgical practice may represent a population at risk for suicide, given risk factors of chronic pain and debilitating injury. Screening has the potential to identify people at risk that may otherwise go unrecognized. This quality improvement project (QIP) aimed to determine the feasibility of implementing suicide risk screening in an outpatient podiatry clinic and ambulatory surgical center. Methods: A suicide risk screening QIP was implemented in an outpatient podiatry clinic and ambulatory surgical center in collaboration with a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) suicide prevention research team. Following training for all staff, patients ages 18 years and older were screened for suicide risk with the Ask Suicide-Screening Questions (ASQ) as standard of care. Clinic staff were surveyed about their opinions of screening. Results: Ninety-four percent of patients (442/470) agreed to be screened for suicide risk and nine patients (2%; 9/442) screened non-acute positive; zero for acute risk. The majority of clinic staff reported that they found screening acceptable, felt comfortable working with patients who have suicidal thoughts, and thought screening for suicide risk was clinically useful. Conclusions: Suicide risk screening was successfully implemented in an outpatient podiatry clinic. Screening with the ASQ provided valuable information that would not have been ascertained otherwise, positively impacting clinical decision-making and leading to improved overall care for podiatry patients.
This study analyzed the histologic effects of and host response to subdermally injected liquid silicone to augment soft-tissue cushioning of the bony prominences of the foot. A total of 148 postmortem and surgical specimens of pedal skin with attached soft tissue were obtained from 49 patients between July 1, 1974, and November 30, 2002. The longest period that silicone was in vivo was 38 years. The specimens were then processed into paraffin blocks and examined for specific findings. The variables considered included distribution of silicone within the tissue, host response, migration to regional lymph nodes, and viability of the host tissue after treatment. The host response to silicone therapy consisted primarily of delicate-to-robust fibrous deposition and histiocytic phagocytosis, with eventual formation of well-formed elliptic fibrous pads. The response in the foot appears different from that in the breast and other areas of the body previously studied. No examples of granulomas, chronic lymphoplasmacytic inflammation, or granulation tissue formation were seen, with only rare foreign-body giant cells present. Silicone injections in fat pads for the treatment of atrophy and loss of viable tissue show a histologically stable and biologically tolerated host response that is effective, with no evidence of any systemic changes. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(6): 550–557, 2004)