Diabetic foot wounds remain a significant health-care issue. Healing these wounds in a timely manner is of paramount importance because the duration of ulceration correlates with increased rates of infection and amputation, costing billions of dollars yearly. Collagen-based matrices have been used as wound covers and have been shown to improve and expedite healing. We present our experience with equine pericardium biomatrix for the treatment of neuropathic foot wounds.
Thirty-four patients with 37 diabetic foot wounds were evaluated at two institutions prospectively. All of the wounds were debrided, and equine pericardium biomatrix was applied. Secondary dressings were changed every 48 to 72 hours until healed or for 12 weeks after application. Healing rate at 12 weeks, time to wound closure, and complications were evaluated.
Twenty-two men and 12 women (mean age, 56.9 years) were treated and evaluated. Mean and median wound sizes at initial treatment were 715.8 and 440 mm2, respectively. The overall wound healing rate by 12 weeks was 75.7% (n =28). Mean and median times to wound closure were 7.2 and 7.0 weeks, respectively. No device or procedure-related complications were reported.
The use of equine pericardium as a temporary biological scaffold is safe and effective for the treatment of chronic neuropathic foot wounds. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(5): 352–358, 2012)
The Percutaneous Surgical Approach for Repairing Acute Achilles Tendon Rupture
A Comprehensive Outcome Assessment
Background: Treatment modalities for acute Achilles tendon rupture can be divided into operative and nonoperative. The main concern with nonoperative treatment is the high incidence of repeated ruptures; operative treatment is associated with risk of infection, sural nerve injury, and wound-healing sequelae. We assessed our experience with a percutaneous operative approach for treating acute Achilles tendon rupture.
Methods: The outcomes of percutaneous surgery in 29 patients (25 men; age range, 24–58 years) who underwent percutaneous surgery for Achilles tendon rupture between 1997 and 2004 were retrospectively evaluated. Their demographic data, subjective and objective evaluation findings, and isokinetic evaluation results were retrieved, and they were assessed with the modified Boyden score and the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society Ankle-Hindfoot Scale.
Results: All 29 patients demonstrated good functional outcome, with no- to mild-limitations in recreational activities and high patient satisfaction. Mean follow-up was 31.8 months. Changes in ankle range of motion in the operated leg were minimal. Strength and power testing revealed a significant difference at 90°/sec for plantarflexion power between the injured and healthy legs but no difference at 30° and 240°/sec or in dorsiflexion. The mean modified Boyden score was 74.3, and the mean Ankle-Hindfoot Scale score was 94.5.
Conclusions: Percutaneous surgery for Achilles tendon rupture is easily executed and has excellent functional results and low complication rates. It is an appealing alternative to either nonoperative or open surgery treatments. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 270–275, 2010)
Nerve Decompression After Diabetic Foot Ulceration May Protect Against Recurrence
A 3-Year Controlled, Prospective Analysis
Nerve entrapment, common in diabetes, is considered an associated phenomenon without large consequence in the development of diabetes complications such as ulceration, infection, amputation, and early mortality. This prospective analysis, with controls, of the ulcer recurrence rate after operative nerve decompression (ND) offers an objective perspective on the possibility of frequent occult nerve entrapment in the diabetic foot complication cascade.
A multicenter cohort of 42 patients with diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy, failed pharmacologic pain control, palpable pulses, and at least one positive Tinel's nerve percussion sign was treated with unilateral multiple lower-leg external neurolyses for the indication of pain. All of the patients had healed at least one previous ipsilateral plantar diabetic foot ulceration (DFU). This group was retrospectively evaluated a minimum of 12 months after operative ND and again 3 years later. The recurrence risk of ipsilateral DFU in that period was prospectively analyzed and compared with new ulcer occurrence in the contralateral intact, nonoperated control legs.
Operated legs developed two ulcer recurrences (4.8%), and nine contralateral control legs developed ulcers (21.4%), requiring three amputations. Ulcer risk is 1.6% per patient per year in ND legs and 7% in nonoperated control legs (P = .048).
Adding operative ND at lower-leg fibro-osseous tunnels to standard postulcer treatment resulted in a significantly diminished rate of subsequent DFU in neuropathic high-risk feet. This is prospective, objective evidence that ND can provide valuable ongoing protection from DFU recurrence, even years after primary ulcer healing.
The skin on human feet presents unique environments for the proliferation of potentially pathogenic commensals. This study examined microflora changes on healthy intact skin under a semiocclusive dressing on the medial longitudinal arch of the foot to determine changes in growth, distribution, and frequency of microflora under the dressing.
Nine human participants wore a low-adherent, absorbent, semiocclusive dressing on the medial longitudinal arch of the left foot for 2 weeks. An identical location on the right foot was swabbed and used as a control. Each foot was swabbed at baseline, week 1, and week 2. The swabs were cultured for 48 hours. Visual identification, Gram staining, DNase test agar, and a latex slide agglutination test were used to identify genera and species.
Microflora growth was categorized as scant (0–10 colony-forming units [CFU]), light (11–50 CFU), moderate (51–100 CFU), or heavy (>100 CFU). Scant and light growth decreased and moderate and heavy growth increased under the dressing compared with the control. Seven different genera of bacteria were identified. Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp appeared most frequently, followed by
Changes in microflora distribution, frequency, and growth were found under the dressing, supporting historical studies. Microflora changes were identified as an increase in bioburden and reduction in diversity. The application of similar methods, using more sophisticated identification and analysis techniques and a variety of dressings, could lead to a better understanding of bacterial and fungal growth under dressings, informing better dressing selection to assist the healing process of wounds and prevent infection.
Skin grafting is a useful adjunct to treating open wounds. It not only provides rapid wound coverage, but also eliminates the pain and the risk of further infection associated with open wounds. A successful skin graft take requires a well vascularized and relatively sterile bed, as well as complete resolution of any surrounding infection. The author reviews the indications and techniques for obtaining a successful skin graft take.
The presence of subcutaneous nodules in association with rheumatoid arthritis is well documented. In most cases, these nodules occur in association with severe rheumatoid disease. Treatment should be initiated with conservative measures such as custom-molded shoes, nonweightbearing, and oral antibiotic therapy to control infection. The goals of surgery were to alleviate pain, improve function and cosmesis, remove infected bone, and prevent further infection. The surgical sites are completely healed without complications 2 years postoperatively.
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.
Background: Onychomycosis is a chronic fungal nail infection caused predominantly by dermatophytes, and less commonly by nondermatophyte molds and Candida species. Onychomycosis treatment includes oral and topical antifungals, the efficacy of which is evaluated through randomized, double-blind, controlled trials for US Food and Drug Administration approval. The primary efficacy measure is complete cure (complete mycologic and clinical cure). The secondary measures are clinical cure (usually ≤10% involvement of target nail) and mycologic cure (negative microscopy and culture). Some lasers are US Food and Drug Administration approved for the mild temporary increase in clear nail; however, some practitioners attempt to use lasers to treat and cure onychomycosis.
Methods: A systematic review of the literature was performed in July of 2020 to evaluate the efficacy rates demonstrated by randomized controlled trials of laser monotherapy for dermatophyte onychomycosis of the great toenail.
Results: Randomized controlled trials assessing the efficacy of laser monotherapy for dermatophyte toenail onychomycosis are limited. Many studies measured cure rates by means of nails instead of patients, and performed only microscopy or culture, not both. Only one included study reported mycologic cure rate in patients as negative light microscopy and culture (0%). The combined clinical cure rates in short- and long-pulsed laser studies were 13.0%–16.7% and 25.9%, respectively. There was no study that reported the complete cure rate; however, one did report treatment success (mycologic cure [negative microscopy and culture] and ≤10% clinical involvement) in nails as 16.7%.
Conclusions: The effectiveness of lasers as a therapeutic intervention for dermatophyte toenail onychomycosis is limited based on complete, mycologic, and clinical cure rates. However, it may be possible to use different treatment parameters or lasers with a different wavelength to increase the efficacy. Lasers could be a potential management option for older patients and onychomycosis patients with coexisting conditions such as diabetes, liver, and/or kidney diseases for whom systemic antifungal agents are contraindicated or have failed.
A Pragmatic, Single-Center, Prospective, Randomized Controlled Trial of Adjunct Hemoglobin-Mediated Granulox Topical Oxygen Therapy Twice Weekly for Foot Ulcers
Results of the Hemoglobin Application to Wounds Study
Achieving timely healing of foot ulcers can help avoid complications such as infection and amputation; topical oxygen therapy has shown promise in achieving this. We evaluated the clinical effectiveness of Granulox, a hemoglobin spray device designed to deliver oxygen to the surface of wounds, for the healing of foot ulcers.
We conducted a single-center, prospective, randomized controlled trial comparing standard of care (once-weekly podiatric medical clinic visits) versus standard care plus adjunct Granulox therapy twice weekly in adults with foot ulcers. After a 2-week screening phase, patients in whom the index wound had healed by less than 50% were randomized 1:1. Outcome measures were collated during the trial phase at 6 and 12 weeks.
Of 79 patients enrolled, 38 were randomized. After 12 weeks, the median percentage wound size reduction compared with the size of the ulcer at the start of the trial phase was 100% for the control arm and 48% for the Granulox arm (P = .21, Mann-Whitney U test). In the former, eight of 14 foot ulcers had healed; in the latter, four of 15 (P = .14, Fisher exact test). In the control arm, two amputations and one withdrawal occurred, whereas in the Granulox arm, one unrelated death and five withdrawals were recorded.
We could not replicate the favorable healing associated with use of Granulox as published by others. Differences in wound chronicity and frequency of Granulox application might have influenced differences in study results. Granulox might perform best when used as an adjunct for treatment of chronic wounds at least 8 weeks old.
Below-the-knee amputations are regarded as definitive treatment for calcaneal osteomyelitis. They may be less than desirable in patients with a viable midfoot and forefoot. Partial and total calcanectomies have been reported as an alternative for limb salvage. However, the durability of the residual limb is questionable.
A systematic review was undertaken to identify material relating to the potential for limb salvage with partial or total calcanectomy in ambulatory patients with calcaneal osteomyelitis. Studies eligible for inclusion consecutively enrolled ambulatory patients older than 18 years who underwent partial or total calcanectomy without adjunctive free tissue transfer for the treatment of calcaneal osteomyelitis and had a mean follow-up of 12 months or longer.
Sixteen studies involving 100 patients (76 partial and 28 total calcanectomies) met all of the inclusion criteria. Weighted mean follow-up was 33 months. Minor complications with subsequent healing occurred in less than 24% of patients. Most major complications were related to residual soft-tissue infection and osteomyelitis. Approximately 10% of patients required a major lower-extremity amputation. Major complications and major lower-extremity amputations occurred more frequently after total calcanectomy and in patients with a diagnosis of diabetes. Eighty-five percent of patients maintained or improved their ambulatory status postoperatively. Only 3% of patients decreased their ambulatory status postoperatively, becoming unlimited household ambulators.
This systematic review provides evidence that partial or total calcanectomy is a viable option for limb salvage in ambulatory patients with calcaneal osteomyelitis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(5): 396–405, 2012)