Maggot Therapy in “Lower-Extremity Hospice” Wound Care
Fewer Amputations and More Antibiotic-Free Days
We sought to assess, in a case-control model, the potential efficacy of maggot debridement therapy in 60 nonambulatory patients (mean ± SD age, 72.2 ± 6.8 years) with neuroischemic diabetic foot wounds (University of Texas grade C or D wounds below the malleoli) and peripheral vascular disease. Twenty-seven of these patients (45%) healed during 6 months of review. There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients healing in the maggot debridement therapy versus control group (57% versus 33%). Of patients who healed, time to healing was significantly shorter in the maggot therapy than in the control group (18.5 ± 4.8 versus 22.4 ± 4.4 weeks). Approximately one in five patients (22%) underwent a high-level (above-the-foot) amputation. Patients in the control group were three times as likely to undergo amputation (33% versus 10%). Although there was no significant difference in infection prevalence in patients undergoing maggot therapy versus controls (80% versus 60%), there were significantly more antibiotic-free days during follow-up in patients who received maggot therapy (126.8 ± 30.3 versus 81.9 ± 42.1 days). Maggot debridement therapy reduces short-term morbidity in nonambulatory patients with diabetic foot wounds. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(3): 254–257, 2005)
In contrast to the narrow indications for living skin equivalents, extracellular matrix biomaterials are clinically used in a wide range of wound-healing applications. Given the breadth of possible uses, the goal of this study was to retrospectively compile and analyze the clinical application and effectiveness of an extracellular matrix biomaterial derived from fetal bovine dermis (PriMatrix; TEI Biosciences, Boston, Massachusetts) in patients treated by a single physician and monitored postsurgically in an outpatient wound care center.
A retrospective medical record review was conducted of consecutive patients treated from January 2007 through January 2009 with meshed PriMatrix after sharp/surgical debridement and coverage with standard moist wound therapy dressings.
Twenty-nine patients and 34 wounds were compiled. All of the wounds were unresponsive to conservative treatment owing to complications, including infection, exposed bone or tendon, and other comorbidities known to delay healing. Wounds included 11 diabetic ulcers, 8 venous stasis ulcers, 10 nonhealing traumatic wounds, and 5 other chronic wounds. Thirty of 34 wounds healed, with four patients lost to follow-up. Mean time to healing for diabetic foot ulcers was 105 days with an average of 2.6 PriMatrix applications. Mean time to healing for venous, traumatic, and other chronic wounds was 74 to 82 days with an average of 1.2 to 1.4 PriMatrix applications.
In patients with comorbidities known to delay healing, the implantation of PriMatrix promoted the healing and, ultimately, full reepithelialization of otherwise unresponsive wounds of varied etiology, including those with complications of infection or exposed bone or tendon. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(3): 223–232, 2012)
Charcot’s neuroarthropathy is a relatively common disease in patients with diabetic neuropathy. If unrecognized or left untreated, Charcot’s neuroarthropathy can result in a severely misshapen and unstable foot and ankle. Ulceration, soft-tissue infection, and osteomyelitis frequently ensue, and partial or complete amputation of the foot is not uncommon. A high index of suspicion and proper interpretation of clinical and diagnostic findings are essential to establish a timely and accurate diagnosis and to institute appropriate treatment. The pathogenesis of neuroarthropathy is reviewed and diagnosis and treatment of the stage 0 diabetic Charcot foot are presented. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(4): 210-220, 2002)
A 42-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with progressive painful discoloration of the digits of her right foot and symptoms previously diagnosed as neuroma. She was admitted to the hospital for dorsalis pedis arterial occlusion and ischemic foot pain. Despite attempts to restore perfusion to the right leg, ischemia of the right foot persisted and progressed to digital gangrene. The patient subsequently required right transmetatarsal amputation and eventually below-the-knee amputation. After extensive inpatient vascular and hematologic work-up of this otherwise healthy woman, test results revealed that she had protein S deficiency, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus type 1. In addition to describing this patient’s evaluation and treatment, we review protein S deficiency, including its correlation with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection and laboratory diagnosis. This case promotes awareness of protein S deficiency and serves as a reminder to the physician treating patients with vascular compromise and a history of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 to include protein S deficiency in the differential diagnosis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(2): 151–155, 2007)
An Assessment of Intralesional Epidermal Growth Factor for Treating Diabetic Foot Wounds
The First Experiences in Turkey
Intralesional epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been available as a medication in Turkey since 2012. We present the results of our experience using intralesional EGF in Turkey for patients with diabetic foot wounds.
A total of 174 patients from 25 Turkish medical centers were evaluated for this retrospective study. We recorded the data on enrolled individuals on custom-designed patient follow-up forms. Patients received intralesional injections of 75 μg of EGF three times per week and were monitored daily for adverse reactions to treatment. Patients were followed up for varying periods after termination of EGF treatments.
Median treatment duration was 4 weeks, and median frequency of EGF administration was 12 doses. Complete response (granulation tissue >75% or wound closure) was observed in 116 patients (66.7%). Wounds closed with only EGF administration in 81 patients (46.6%) and in conjunction with various surgical interventions after EGF administration in 65 patients (37.3%). Overall, 146 of the wounds (83.9%) were closed at the end of therapy. Five patients (2.9%) required major amputation. Adverse effects were reported in 97 patients (55.7%).
In patients with diabetic foot ulcer who received standard care, additional intralesional EGF application after infection control provided high healing rates with low amputation rates.
The comorbidities of diabetes mellitus were evaluated in an Asian American population with podiatric symptoms living in southern California. The three most common nonpedal complaints in men were blurred vision (73.6%), hypertension (64.1%), and erectile dysfunction (52.3%) and in women were blurred vision (84.5%), incontinence (71.5%), and low-back pain with radiculopathy-like symptoms (56.5%). The most significant finding was that only 3.2% of all patients had any previous knowledge or understanding of the risks of foot infection, ulceration, and amputation secondary to diabetes mellitus. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus in ethnic populations once considered practically exempt continues to rise steadily, and Asians living in the United States are becoming casualties of diabetes mellitus and its complications. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(1): 37-41, 2003)
Triple Arthrodesis Using External Ring Fixation and Arched-Wire Compression
An Evaluation of 87 Patients
From January 1995 to December 2000, 87 patients at a single medical center underwent triple arthrodesis using external rings and arched-wire compression as the method of fixation. A retrospective evaluation was conducted to assess the clinical results of this technique. Eighty-four patients (97%) achieved clinical and radiographic fusion in 6 to 8 weeks. All of the patients were partially weightbearing during the first postoperative week. Thirty-one patients (36%) developed a superficial infection at one or more wire insertion sites, and nine (10%) experienced dehiscence of an incision. Three patients (3%) developed an asymptomatic nonunion. This article describes the use of external ring fixation with arched-wire compression for triple arthrodesis and presents the findings from 87 patients who underwent this technique. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(1): 12-21, 2004)
It is important to have a full appreciation of lower-extremity anatomical relationships before undertaking diabetic foot surgery. We sought to evaluate the potential for communication of the flexor hallucis longus (FHL) tendon with other pedal tendons and plantar foot compartments at the master knot of Henry and to provide cadaveric images and computed tomographic (CT) scans of such communications. Computed tomography and subsequent anatomical dissection were performed on embalmed cadaveric limbs. Initially, 5 to 10 mL (1:4 dilution) of iohexol and normal saline was injected into the FHL sheath as it coursed between the two hallux sesamoids. Subsequently, CT scans were obtained in the axial plane using a multidetector CT scanner with sagittal and coronal reformatted images. The limbs were then dissected for specific evaluation of the known variable intertendinous connections between the FHL and flexor digitorum longus (FDL) and quadratus plantae (QP) muscles. One cadaver demonstrated retrograde flow of contrast into the four individual tendons of the FDL, with observation of a large intertendinous slip between the FHL and FDL on dissection. Another cadaver demonstrated contrast filling in the QP with an associated intertendinous slip between the FHL and QP on dissection. These results indicate that the master knot of Henry (the location in the plantar aspect of the midfoot where the FHL and FDL tendons decussate, with the FDL passing superficially over the FHL) has at least the potential to serve as one source of communication in diabetic foot infections from the medial plantar compartment and FHL to the central and lateral compartments via the FDL and to the rearfoot via the QP.
Diagnosis and Management of Onychomycosis
Perspectives from a Joint Podiatric Medicine–Dermatology Roundtable
Onychomycosis is a fungal infection, and, as such, one of the goals of treatment should be eradication of the infective agent. Despite this, in contrast to dermatologists, many podiatric physicians do not include antifungals in their onychomycosis treatment plans. Before initiating treatment, confirmation of mycologic status via laboratory testing (eg, microscopy with potassium hydroxide preparation, histopathology with periodic acid–Schiff staining, fungal culture, and polymerase chain reaction) is important; however, more podiatric physicians rely solely on clinical signs than do dermatologists. These dissimilarities may be due, in part, to differences between specialties in training, reimbursement patterns, or practice orientation, and to explore these differences further, a joint podiatric medicine–dermatology roundtable was convened. In addition, treatment options have been limited owing to safety concerns with available oral antifungals and relatively low efficacy with previously available topical treatments. Recently approved topical treatments—efinaconzole and tavaborole—offer additional options for patients with mild-to-moderate disease. Debridement alone has no effect on mycologic status, and it is recommended that it be used in combination with an oral or topical antifungal. There is little to no clinical evidence to support the use of lasers or over-the-counter treatments for onychomycosis. After a patient has achieved cure (absence of clinical signs or absence of fungus with minimal clinical signs), lifestyle and hygiene measures, prophylactic/maintenance treatment, and proactive treatment for tinea pedis, including in family members, may help maintain this status.
Verrucae (warts) are the most common viral infections of the skin, affecting 7% to 10% of the general population. Typically caused by human papillomavirus type 1, plantar warts manifest as benign proliferation of the epithelial cells on the feet. It has been cited that up to one-third of nongenital warts become recalcitrant, and biopsy is often required to confirm diagnosis and direct appropriate treatment. These treatments can vary from various types of oral medications, acids, ablative modalities, and injections. In this article, we present a case of a recalcitrant plantar wart that appeared to circumferentially spread from the initial site after first-line treatment and presumed resolution with the product cantharidin. The development of ring warts is a known complication associated with cantharidin use, with little described rationale to the presentation.