Background: We sought to study the impact of foot complications on 10-year mortality independent of other demographic and biological risk factors in a racially and socioeconomically diverse managed-care population with access to high-quality medical care.
Methods: We studied 6,992 patients with diabetes in Translating Research Into Action for Diabetes (TRIAD), a prospective observational study of diabetes care in managed care. Foot complications were assessed using administrative claims data. The National Death Index was searched for deaths across 10 years of follow-up (2000-2009).
Results: Charcot's neuro-osteoarthropathy and diabetic foot ulcer with debridement were associated with an increased risk of mortality; however, the associations were not significant in fully adjusted models. Lower-extremity amputation (LEA) was associated with an increased risk of mortality in unadjusted (hazard ratio [HR], 3.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.50–4.12) and fully adjusted (HR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.28–2.63) models. When we examined the associations between LEA and mortality stratified by sex and race, risk was increased in men (HR, 1.96; 95% CI, 1.25–3.07), Hispanic individuals (HR, 5.17; 95% CI, 1.48–18.01), and white individuals (HR, 2.18; 95% CI, 1.37–3.47). In sensitivity analyses, minor LEA tended to increase the risk of mortality (HR, 1.48; 95% CI, 0.92–2.40), and major LEA was associated with a significantly higher risk of death at 10 years (HR, 1.89; 95% CI, 1.18–3.01).
Conclusions: In this managed-care population with access to high-quality medical care, LEA remained a robust independent predictor of mortality. The association was strongest in men and differed by race.
A 37-year-old woman originally presented in May 2003 with a nonhealing, painless ulcer on the plantar surface of her right foot that had been slowly increasing in size for the previous 1.5 years. Two weeks before presentation, a biopsy of the lesion, performed at another institution, had indicated a probable verrucous carcinoma. After preoperative workup, the patient underwent resection of the lesion, with clear margins and full-thickness skin grafting. The final pathologic findings were not consistent with verrucous carcinoma. A recurrent lesion was noted during a follow-up visit, and a second biopsy revealed a hyperkeratotic papillomatous verrucous lesion, type unclassified. No viral particles were isolated in the random biopsy samples. This recurrent lesion was refractory to treatment with topical acyclovir. Subsequent treatments consisted of imiquimod and CO2 laser ablation, which succeeded in reducing the lesion. Verrucous lesions can be frustrating, and the diagnosis of epithelioma cuniculatum can be difficult to prove. We report a case highly suggestive of but not definitively diagnosed as epithelioma cuniculatum and summarize the literature on this entity. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(2): 148–153, 2006)
Diabetes mellitus is a predisposing factor for onychomycosis (OM). A high frequency of nonfungal onychodystrophy (OD) is also alleged, although information on the prevalence of specific nail changes is scant. We evaluated the prevalence and types of nail changes in a cohort of diabetic patients with fungal and nonfungal OD.
During a 6-month period, inpatients with diabetes mellitus were screened for foot and toenail changes. Demographic, social, and clinical data were recorded, as was information concerning foot and toenail care. Fungal infection was confirmed by mycologic examination and by histologic analysis of nail clippings.
Of the 82 patients included, 65 (79.3%) had nail changes, and 34 of these 65 patients (52.3%) were diagnosed as having OM. The most frequently observed nail signs were subungual hyperkeratosis, onycholysis, yellow discoloration, and splinter hemorrhages, each seen in more than 25% of the patients. Tinea pedis and superficial pseudoleukonychia were observed more frequently in the OM group (P < .05). Conversely, prominent metatarsal heads and history of nail trauma were more frequent in patients with nonfungal OD (P < .05).
Physicians who care for diabetic patients should not ignore nail changes. Fungal and nonfungal OD are common and should be addressed in the global evaluation of the feet to help prevent breaks in the skin barrier and subsequent bacterial infections and ulcers.
In this explorative study, we assessed the effect and feasibility of using motivational interviewing to improve footwear adherence in persons with diabetes who are at high risk for foot ulceration and show low adherence to wearing prescribed custom-made footwear.
Thirteen individuals with diabetes, ulcer history, and low footwear adherence (ie, <80% of steps taken in prescription footwear) were randomly assigned to standard education (ie, verbal and written instructions) or to standard education plus two 45-min sessions of motivational interviewing. Adherence was objectively measured over 7 days using ankle- and shoe-worn sensors and was calculated as the percentage of total steps that prescribed footwear was worn. Adherence was assessed at home and away from home at baseline and 1 week and 3 months after the intervention. Feasibility was assessed for interviewer proficiency to apply motivational interviewing and for protocol executability.
Median (range) baseline, 1-week, and 3-month adherence at home was 49% (6%–63%), 84% (5%–98%), and 40% (4%–80%), respectively, in the motivational interviewing group and 35% (13%–64%), 33% (15%–55%), and 31% (3%–66%), respectively, in the standard education group. Baseline, 1-week, and 3-month adherence away from home was 91% (79%–100%), 97% (62%–99%) and 92% (86%–98%), respectively, in the motivational interviewing group and 78% (32%–97%), 91% (28%–98%), and 93% (57%–100%), respectively, in the standard education group. None of the differences were statistically significant. Interviewer proficiency was good, and the protocol could be successfully executed in the given time frame.
Footwear adherence at home increases 1 week after motivational interviewing to clinically relevant but not statistically significant levels (ie, 80%) but then returns over time to baseline levels. Away from home, adherence is already sufficient at baseline and remains so over time. The use of motivational interviewing seems feasible for the given purpose and patient group. These findings provide input to larger trials and provisionally suggest that additional or adjunctive therapy may be needed to better preserve adherence.
We investigated whether a forefoot off-loading postoperative shoe (FOPS) alters standing posture, ankle muscle activity, and static postural sway and whether any effects are altered by wearing a shoe raise on the contralateral side.
Posture, ankle muscle activity, and postural sway were compared in 14 healthy participants wearing either a FOPS or a control shoe with or without a contralateral shoe raise. Participants were tested under different sensory and support surface conditions. Additionally, reductions in peak pressure under the forefoot while walking were assessed with and without a contralateral shoe raise to determine whether the FOPS continued to achieve its primary off-loading function.
Compared with the control condition, wearing a FOPS moved the center of pressure posteriorly, increased tibialis anterior muscle activity, and reduced ankle plantarflexor activity. These changes decreased when a contralateral shoe raise was added. No difference in postural sway was found between footwear conditions. Forefoot peak pressure was always reduced when wearing the FOPS.
The posterior shift in center of pressure toward and behind the ankle joint axis is believed to result in the increase in tibialis anterior muscle activity that now acts as the primary stabilizer around the ankle. Instability may, therefore, increase in patients with weak tibialis anterior muscles (eg, diabetic neuropathy) who need to wear offloading devices for ulcer management. We suggest that the addition of a contralateral shoe raise fitted with a FOPS may potentially be beneficial in maintaining stability while off-loading the forefoot in this patient group. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(1): 36–42, 2013)
Plantar pressure-measurement technology may provide the clinician with valuable objective information for monitoring the effects of therapeutic intervention on the foot. The use of this technology is described in the preoperative and postoperative assessment of a patient undergoing hallux valgus surgery for the treatment of a chronic neuropathic skin ulcer over the medioplantar aspect of her first metatarsophalangeal joint.
The authors present a case of massive fatal pontine hemorrhage as a complication of hypertension in a patient treated for an infected diabetic ulcer. The podiatric physician must be aware of the risks associated with concomitant medical problems such as hypertension and ensure that proper therapeutic measures are taken to avoid the potential for catastrophic complications.
Diabetes mellitus affects about one in 25 Australians. Neuropathic foot ulceration is a frequent complication in persons with diabetes. This study evaluates the importance of different risk factors for the development of this condition. The role of nonenzymatic glycosylation and pressure beneath the sole of the foot in the pathogenesis of neuropathic foot ulcers was investigated. Twenty-seven subjects with diabetes with a recent history of neuropathic foot ulceration were matched by age and sex with a group of 50 control subjects without neuropathy or history of foot ulceration. The degree of nonenzymatic glycosylation was assessed by analyzing the average level of glycosylated hemoglobin in the 3 years prior to the development of the foot ulcer and a goniometer assessment of peripheral joint (hand and ankle) flexibility. Dynamic pressure of the plantar aspect of the foot was recorded using a Musgrave Footprint System pedobarograph during a normal gait cycle. There was no significant difference in age, sex, body mass index, and duration or type of diabetes between the ulcer and control groups. The pressure of the plantar aspect of the foot was significantly elevated (p < 0.01). Ankle joint flexibility was reduced (p < 0.01) in cases with neuropathic foot ulceration compared with the control group. There was a trend toward elevation of glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c fraction) or HbA1c in the ulcer group (p = 0.06). The results suggested that nonenzymatic glycosylation occurs at a more significant level in patients with diabetes with a history of neuropathic foot ulceration.
The effect of electrical currents on living cellular systems has been studied by many researchers and is becoming useful in clinical medicine. Alteration of cellular activity with externally applied currents can positively or negatively influence the status of a healing tissue, thereby directing the healing process to a desired outcome. A review of the literature pertaining to the effect of electrical currents on tissue healing is presented and the relevance of this modality to ulcer healing is discussed.
Neuropathic osteoarthropathy, i.e., Charcot's joint, has not previously been reported as a sequela of elective foot surgery. The authors present a challenging case of a patient with long-standing diabetes mellitus and peripheral neuropathy who developed neuropathic osteoarthropathy after a Keller arthroplasty for a recalcitrant hallux ulcer. The radiographic findings, diagnostic tests, and histopathology are discussed. Finally, the authors offer suggestions for surgeons contemplating a Keller arthroplasty for patients with peripheral neuropathy.