The lower-extremity amputation rate in people with diabetes mellitus is high, and the wound failure rate at the time of amputation is as high as 28%. Even with successful healing of the primary amputation site, amputation of part of the contralateral limb occurs in 50% of patients within 2 to 5 years. The purpose of this study was to provide valid outcome data before (control period) and 18 months after (test period) implementation of a multidisciplinary team approach using verified methods to improve the institutional care of wounds. Retrospective medical chart review was performed for 118 control patients and 116 test patients. The amputation rate was significantly decreased during the test period, and the amputations that were required were at a significantly more distal level. No above-the-knee amputations were required in 45 patients during the test period, compared with 14 of 76 patients during the control period. These outcome data suggest that unified care is an effective approach for the patient with diabetic foot problems. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(8): 425-428, 2002)
Background: High peak plantar pressures predispose to foot problems and may exacerbate existing conditions. For podiatric physicians to make educated recommendations to their patients, it is important and necessary to begin to look at different shoes and how they affect peak plantar pressure.
Methods: To determine how flip-flops change peak plantar pressure while walking, we compared peak plantar pressures in the same test subjects wearing flip-flops, wearing athletic shoes, and in bare feet. Ten women with size 7 feet and a body mass index less than 25 kg/m2 were tested with an in-shoe pressure-measurement system. These data were collected and analyzed by one-way analysis of variance and computer software.
Results: Statistically significant results were obtained for nine of the 18 comparisons. In each of these comparisons, flip-flops always demonstrated higher peak plantar pressures than athletic shoes but lower pressures than bare feet.
Conclusion: Although these data demonstrate that flip-flops have a minor protective role as a shock absorber during the gait cycle compared with pressures measured while barefoot, compared with athletic shoes, they increase peak plantar pressures, placing the foot at greater risk for pathologic abnormalities. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(5): 374–378, 2008)
The etiology of neuropathic diabetic foot wounds can be summarized by the following formula: pressure × cycles of repetitive stress = ulceration. The final pathway to ulceration consists of an inflammatory response, leading to tissue breakdown. Mitigation of this response might reduce the risk of ulceration. This proof-of-concept trial evaluates whether simple cooling of the foot can safely reduce the time to thermal equilibrium after activity. After a 15-min brisk walk, the six nondiabetic volunteers enrolled were randomly assigned to receive either air cooling or a 10-min 55°F cool water bath followed by air cooling. The process was then repeated with the intervention reversed, allowing subjects to serve as their own controls. There was a rise in mean ± SD skin temperature after 15 min of activity versus preactivity levels (87.8° ± 3.9° versus 79° ± 2.2° F; P = .0001). Water cooling immediately brought the foot to a point cooler than preactivity levels for all subjects, whereas air cooling required an average of nearly 17 min to do so. Ten minutes of cooling required a mean ± SD of 26.2 ± 5.9 min to warm to preactivity levels. No adverse effects resulted from the intervention. We conclude that cooling the foot may be a safe and effective method of reducing inflammation and may serve as a prophylactic or interventional tool to reduce skin breakdown risk. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(2): 103–107, 2005)