Acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) is a disease that is found on the palms, soles, and nail beds. Because these areas are not often examined during general medical examinations, the presence of ALM often goes unnoticed or the diagnosis is delayed. Research shows that the misdiagnosis of ALM is common, reported between 20% and 34%. We present three cases of ALM that were initially misdiagnosed and referred to the senior author (B.C.M.) in an effort to assess why misdiagnosis is common. The existing literature illuminates clinical pitfalls in diagnosing ALM. The differential diagnosis of many different podiatric skin and nail disorders should include ALM. Although making the correct diagnosis is essential, the prognosis is affected by the duration of the disease and level of invasiveness. Unfortunately, most of the reported misdiagnosed cases are of a later stage and worse prognosis. This review highlights that foot and ankle specialists should meet suspect lesions with a heightened index of suspicion and perform biopsy when acral nonhealing wounds and/or lesions are nonresponsive to treatment.
Objective: To investigate the predictive value of erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in persons with and without diabetes with osteomyelitis (OM).
Methods: We evaluated 455 patients in a retrospective cohort study of patients admitted to the hospital with diabetic foot OM (n = 177), diabetic foot soft-tissue infections (STIs) (n = 176), nondiabetic OM (n = 51), and nondiabetic STIs (n = 51). Infection diagnosis was determined through bone culture, histopathologic examination for OM, and/or imaging (magnetic resonance imaging/single-photon emission computed tomography) for STI. The optimal cutoff values of ESR and CRP in predicting OM were determined by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and positive and negative likelihood ratios were determined through contingency tables.
Results: In persons without diabetes with STI or OM, the mean ESR and CRP differences were 10.0 mm/h and 2.6 mg/dL, respectively. In contrast, persons with diabetes had higher levels of each: 24.8 mm/h and 6.8 mg/dL, respectively. As a result, ESR and CRP predicted OM better in patients with diabetes. However, when patients were stratified by neuropathy status, ESR remained predictive of OM in diabetic patients with neuropathy (75% sensitivity, 58% specificity) but not in diabetic patients without neuropathy (50% sensitivity, 44% specificity). Also, CRP remained predictive irrespective of neuropathy status. A similar trend was observed in patients without diabetes.
Conclusions: Previous studies have reported that ESR and CRP are predictive of OM. However, this study suggests that neuropathy influences the predictive value of inflammatory biomarkers. The underlying mechanisms require further study.
Charcot's arthropathy (CA) is a destructive rare complication of diabetes, and its diagnosis remains challenging for foot specialists and surgeons. We aimed to assess the clinical presentation and characteristics of CA and the frequencies of its various types.
This cross-sectional study was conducted from January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2016, and included 149 adults with diabetes diagnosed as having CA. Cases of CA were classified based on the Brodsky anatomical classification into five types according to location and involved joints.
The mean ± SD age of the studied cohort was 56.7 ± 11 years, with a mean ± SD diabetes duration of 21.2 ± 7.0 years. The CA cohort had poorly controlled diabetes and a high rate of neuropathy and retinopathy. The most frequent type of CA was type 4, with multiple regions involved at a rate of 56.4%, followed by type 1, with midfoot involvement at 34.5%. A total of 47.7% of the patients had bilateral CA. Complications affected 220 limbs, of which 67.7% had foot ulceration. With respect to foot deformity, hammertoe affected all of the patients; hallux valgus, 59.5%; and flatfoot, 21.8%.
There is a high rate of bilateral CA, mainly type 4, which could be attributed to cultural habits in Saudi Arabia, including footwear. This finding warrants increasing awareness of the importance of maintaining proper footwear to avoid such complications. Implementation of preventive measures for CA is urgently needed.
Following partial bone resection for osteomyelitis, continued osteomyelitis in the remaining bone is common and problematic. Shortcomings in available surgical techniques to combat this also contribute to this problem. Presented are two case studies using a solution to this problem with a different type of bone void filler as a carrier vehicle for delivering antibiotics into the remaining infected bone to eradicate any residual bacteria in the remaining bone.
Background: We sought to determine the frequency of toenail onychomycosis in diabetic patients, to identify the causative agents, and to evaluate the epidemiologic risk factors.
Methods: Data regarding patients’ diabetic characteristics were recorded by the attending internal medicine clinician. Clinical examinations of patients’ toenails were performed by a dermatologist, and specimens were collected from the nails to establish the onycomycotic abnormality. All of the specimens were analyzed by direct microscopy and culture.
Results: Of 321 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, clinical onychomycosis was diagnosed in 162; 41 of those diagnoses were confirmed mycologically. Of the isolated fungi, 23 were yeasts and 18 were dermatophytes. Significant correlations were found between the frequency of onychomycosis and retinopathy, neuropathy, obesity, family history, and duration of diabetes. However, no correlation was found with sex, age, educational level, occupation, area of residence, levels of hemoglobin A1c and fasting blood glucose, and nephropathy. The most frequently isolated agents from clinical specimens were yeasts.
Conclusions: Long-term control of glycemia to prevent chronic complications and obesity and to promote education about the importance of foot and nail care should be essential components in preventing onychomycosis and its potential complications, such as secondary foot lesions, in patients with diabetes mellitus. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(1): 49–54, 2011)
Background: We evaluated 35% urea in a water-lipid–based foam delivery system containing lactic acid in participants with mild-to-moderate xerosis of the foot.
Methods: This 4-week open-label study enrolled 12 participants with xerosis of the foot; six participants were diabetic and six were nondiabetic. Study medication was applied to the affected area twice daily. All adverse events were recorded. Disease severity was measured at baseline and at the end of treatment by Investigator’s Global Assessment, and investigator’s and participant’s signs and symptoms scores. At 4 weeks, compliance and participant satisfaction were determined from participant diaries and a 16-item survey instrument, respectively.
Results: Ten participants completed the study. No adverse reactions were noted with application of the foam. All of the participants who completed the study experienced an improvement in xerosis. The median Investigator’s Global Assessment score decreased significantly from baseline to the end of treatment (P = .005). The investigator and participants observed significant improvement (P < .05) in redness, scaling, and cracking from baseline to the end of treatment. Compliance with the regimen was good, and participants expressed satisfaction with the product.
Conclusions: Thirty-five percent urea in a water-lipid–based foam delivery system containing lactic acid can be an appropriate treatment option for mild-to-moderate xerosis of the foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 153–158, 2011)
We sought to identify the biomechanical characteristics of the feet of patients with diabetes mellitus and the interrelationship with diabetic neuropathy by determining the range of joint mobility and the presence and locations of calluses and foot deformities.
This observational comparative study involved 281 patients with diabetes mellitus who underwent neurologic and vascular examinations. Joint mobility studies were performed, and deformities and hyperkeratosis locations were assessed.
No substantial differences were found between patients with and without neuropathy in joint mobility range. Neuropathy was seen as a risk factor only in the passive range of motion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (mean ± SD: 57.2° ± 19.5° versus 50.3° ± 22.5°, P = .008). Mean ± SD ankle joint mobility values were similar in both groups (83.0° ± 5.2° versus 82.8° ± 9.3°, P = .826). Patients without neuropathy had a higher rate of foot deformities such as hallux abductus valgus and hammer toes. There was also a higher presence of calluses in patients without neuropathy (82.8% versus 72.6%; P = .039).
Diabetic neuropathy was not related to limited joint mobility and the presence of calluses. Patients with neuropathy did not show a higher risk of any of the deformities examined. These findings suggest that the etiology of biomechanical alterations in diabetic people is complex and may involve several anatomically and pathologically predisposing factors. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(3): 208–214, 2011)
Diabetic foot infections are a common and often serious problem, accounting for more hospital bed days than any other complication of diabetes. Despite advances in antibiotic drug therapy and surgical management, these infections continue to be a major risk factor for amputations of the lower extremity. Although a variety of wound size and depth classification systems have been adapted for use in codifying diabetic foot ulcerations, none are specific to infection. In 2003, the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot developed guidelines for managing diabetic foot infections, including the first severity scale specific to these infections. The following year, the Infectious Diseases Society of America published their diabetic foot infection guidelines. Herein, we review some of the critical points from the Executive Summary of the Infectious Diseases Society of America document and provide a commentary following each issue to update the reader on any pertinent changes that have occurred since publication of the original document in 2004.
The importance of a multidisciplinary limb salvage team, apropos of this special issue jointly published by the American Podiatric Medical Association and the Society for Vascular Surgery, cannot be overstated. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 395–400, 2010)
Background: Total-contact casting is an effective method to treat various pathologic abnormalities in patients with diabetic neuropathy, but its use is frequently associated with iatrogenic complications.
Methods: The largest retrospective review to date of iatrogenic complications of total-contact casts was conducted over an 8-year period at Cleveland Clinic.
Results: In the past 8 years, 23% of patients developed complications, and the most common complication was a new heel ulcer formation. Of these complications, 92.1% resolved, 6.4% were lost to follow-up, and 1.4% resulted in a partial foot amputation. Mean cast duration was 10.3 days for patients who developed a total-contact cast iatrogenic complication. The most common indication for the use of a total-contact cast was a neuropathic foot ulceration.
Conclusions: The results of this study support the use of total-contact casting in the insensate patient with diabetes. However, adequate staff training in total-contact cast application is recommended to reduce complications.
Onychomycosis is a chronic fungal infection of the nail that is recalcitrant to treatment. It is unclear why normally effective antifungal therapy results in low cure rates. Evidence suggests that there may be a plethora of reasons that include the limited immune presence in the nail, reduced circulation, presence of commensal microbes, and fungal influence on immune signaling. Therefore, treatment should be designed to address these possibilities and work synergistically with both the innate and adaptive immune responses.