This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of primary wound healing as compared with primary amputation in individuals with chronic diabetic foot wounds. The authors review the potential benefits of vascular surgical procedures and advanced dressings, including two of the most promising modalities in modern wound care: growth factors and bioengineered skin. In this era of cost-conscious health-care administration, it is incumbent on the practitioner to consider not only the basic science of wound care, but also the economic aspect of treatment rendered. These various interventions, dressings, growth factor delivery systems, and new modalities could significantly reduce healing time, thereby reducing the risk of infection, hospitalization, and amputation while improving quality of life. If so, they may be truly cost-effective.
Multiple surgical strategies are available for managing the infected diabetic foot at risk for amputation. The authors present their experience with the closed instillation system in the management of 30 such cases in 29 patients over a 5-year period. Data were collected from the hospital records of neuropathic patients presenting with deep-plantar-space infections or presumed acute osteomyelitis. All 29 patients were male; 57% had marginal or poor vascular supply, and 83% were nutritionally compromised or had proteinuria. At the conclusion of the study, 34% of the patients were dead, reflecting the severity of comorbid conditions found in this population. Despite the marginal healing capacity of these patients, the procedure had a 90% success rate, as defined by expeditious return to prior level of functioning and residential living situation without need for re-operation or higher-level amputation.
The publication of the Global Vascular Guidelines in 2019 provide evidence-based, best practice recommendations on the diagnosis and treatment of chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI). Certainly, the multidisciplinary team, and more specifically one with collaborating podiatrists and vascular specialists, has been shown to be highly effective at improving the outcomes of limbs at risk for amputation. This article uses the Guidelines to answer key questions for podiatrists who are caring for the patient with CLTI.
Infected neuropathic ulcerations are the leading cause of diabetes-related partial foot amputations at the Phoenix Indian Medical Center. Ten hallucal ulcerations in seven American Indian patients with hallux limitus were resolved by local wound care and partial first metatarsophalangeal joint resection. The average length of postsurgical follow-up care was 28.8 months. There have been no recurrences of the plantar hallux ulcerations in any of the patients.
There are many theories regarding the etiology of this rare syndrome. However, the current thinking is that these bands result from rupture of the amnion that causes permanent constrictions of extremities or amputations in utero. This clinically resembles temporary strangulation of an appendage by hair or thread, and must be distinguished. A historical overview as to the etiology of constriction bands will be presented, as well as case studies.
Motile Aeromonas infections of the foot are caused mostly by post-traumatic incidence, occurring mostly during summer months. Serious complications such as osteomyelitis and amputation can result if the infections go untreated or are inadequately treated. The role of each species of motile Aeromonas in pathogenesis and response to antimicrobial agents is not well understood because of taxonomic uncertainty. As a group, motile Aeromonas respond well to aminoglycosides, second-generation and third-generation cephalosporins, quinolones, and some beta-lactam antibiotics.
The author describes an effort that demonstrates a successful partnership between a professional education program in podiatric medicine, the Pennsylvania State Health Department, and the Professional Diabetes Academy, which served as the catalyst for health promotion, prevention, and education. Similar programs through adaptations geared to local resources could be developed as a demonstration of direct secondary prevention of the complications of diabetes in the older population and have the potential to help meet national goals to significantly reduce amputations.
A pedal complication of Milroy's disease has been presented. With a history of multiple debridement procedures as in this case, there is the risk of recurrent infections and the possibility of permanent vascular compromise, particularly with respect to the thin pedal skin on the dorsal aspect. When the toes are recurrently involved with infection, a patient may be best served with a transmetatarsal amputation using a skin flap on the plantar aspect.