Diabetic foot ulcer (DFU) is well managed by infection control, euglycemic state, and debridement of the ulcer followed by appropriate dressing and off-loading of the foot. Studies show that approximately 90% of DFUs that are properly off-loaded heal in nearly 6 weeks. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) serves as a growth factor agonist and has mitogenic and chemotactic properties that help in DFU healing. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of local application of PRP with respect to healing rate and ulcer area reduction in treating DFUs.
Sixty noninfected patients with DFUs (plantar surface area, ≤20 cm2; Meggitt-Wagner grades 1 and 2) were randomized to receive normal saline dressing (control group [CG]) or PRP dressing (study group [SG]) along with total-contact casting for 6 weeks or until complete ulcer healing, whichever was earlier. Healing rate and change in ulcer area were evaluated weekly.
Mean ± SD ulcer area at baseline was 4.96 ± 2.89 cm2 (CG) and 5.22 ± 3.82 cm2 (SG) (P = .77), decreasing to 1.15 ± 1.35 cm2 (CG) and 0.96 ± 1.53 cm2 (SG) (P = .432) at 6 weeks. Mean ± SD percentage reduction in healing area at 6 weeks was 81.72% ± 17.2% (CG) and 85.98% ± 13.42% (SG) (P = .29). Mean ± SD healing rate at 6 weeks was 0.64 ± 0.36 cm2 (CG) and 0.71 ± 0.46 cm2 (SG) (P = .734).
The PRP dressing is no more efficacious than normal saline dressing in the management of DFU in conjunction with total-contact casting.
Complications Associated with Distraction Osteogenesis for the Correction of Brachymetatarsia
A Review of Five Procedures
Background: Congenital brachymetatarsia is often treated with callus distraction. This technique is associated with a variety of complications. We investigated complications encountered in treatment of brachymetatarsia in four female patients and reviewed adjunctive procedures performed to treat these complications.
Methods: We reviewed five distraction osteogenesis procedures performed in four female patients with congenital shortening of the fourth metatarsal over a 3-year period. Serial radiographs were obtained weekly until bone consolidation was achieved, at which time the external fixator was removed. Follow-up ranged from 5 to 10 months.
Results: Three patients (four metatarsals) were satisfied with the cosmetic and functional outcomes of their procedure. One patient was dissatisfied with the cosmetic result owing to a short digit from a short proximal phalanx but was completely functional and resumed all of her normal activities. Complications associated with callus distraction were decreased range of motion and stiffness at the metatarsophalangeal joint, flexion deformity of the digit, angulation of the metatarsal, prolonged distraction time due to pain, fracture of the bone callus, pin-site infection, and an undesirable cosmetic appearance due to a short proximal phalanx. Adjunctive procedures were needed in some of these cases and yielded good results.
Conclusions: Callus distraction is an effective treatment for congenital shortening of the fourth metatarsal, but the procedure is associated with a number of complications. Because most patients proceed with surgery for cosmetic reasons, it is important to present the possible complications and the adjunctive surgical procedures that may be necessary for a desirable outcome. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(3): 189–194, 2007)
Background: Ultrasound-guided plantar fascia release offers the surgeon clear visualization of anatomy at the surgical site. This technique uses small arthroscopic dissecting instruments through a 0.5-cm incision, allowing the surgeon to avoid the larger and more tissue-disruptive incision that is traditionally used for plantar heel spur resection and plantar fascia releases.
Methods: Forty-one patients (46 feet) were selected for the study. The mean patient age was 47 years. Twenty-nine were considered obese with a body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2. Patients were functionally and subjectively evaluated 4 weeks after surgery using the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society Ankle and Hindfoot Rating Scale.
Results: Results from the study show a significant improvement (P = .05 confidence level) 4 weeks postoperatively for the 41 patients (46 feet), compared to their preoperative condition. The mean pretest score was 33.6 (range 10–52); this score improved to 88.0 (range 50–100), 4 weeks postoperatively. There were no postoperative infections or complications.
Conclusions: The ultrasound-guided plantar fascia release technique is a practical surgical procedure for the relief of chronic plantar fascia pain because the surgeon is able to clearly visualize the plantar fascia by ultrasound. In addition, there is minimal disruption to surrounding tissue because small instruments are passed through a small 0.5-cm incision. The traditional open method of heel spur surgery, in contrast, uses a larger skin incision of 3 to 5 cm, followed by larger instruments to dissect to the plantar fascia. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(3): 183–190, 2009)
Candida albicans causes the majority of opportunistic fungal infections. The yeast's commensualistic relationship with humans enables it, when environmental conditions are favorable, to multiply and replace much of the normal flora. Virulence factors of C. albicans, enabling the organism to adhere to and penetrate host tissues, involve specific molecular interactions between the cells of the fungus and the host. Localized disease, such as oral candidiasis, onychomycosis, and vaginitis, results. These infections are usually limited to surfaces of the host, and can be quickly and successfully controlled by the use of one of the available antifungal agents. Candida albicans infections typically become systemic and life threatening when the host is immunocompromised. Depending on the immune defect in the host, one of the spectrum of Candida diseases can develop. If successful treatment of these patients is to be achieved, modulation of the immune deficit, as well as the use of an appropriate antifungal drug, must become a routine part of therapeutic interventions.
Fungal foot infections are becoming an increasingly common public health problem as the population ages. New studies have shown that some of the traditional therapeutic antifungal agents have multiple actions that enable them to be more efficacious than previously thought, and more efficacious than other agents without multiple actions. In this review article, the pedal infections commonly referred to as tinea pedis, or athlete's foot, are described. The etiologic agents involved in the pathogenesis, the methodologies for proper diagnosis, and the therapeutic agents commercially available for treatment are reviewed.
A case study has been presented where C. jeikeium was isolated as the causative bacterium of an osteomyelitis of the fifth metatarsal. Partial amputation, local wound care, frequent and aggressive debridement, and appropriate antibiotics were all used with apparent success. The lack of complete patient follow-up prohibits the authors from declaring the infection cured; however, all signs of infection were absent immediately prior to discharge. The authors believe this to be the first reported case of Corynebacterium species as the bacterial isolate in confirmed osteomyelitis.
Simulation Improves Podiatry Student Skills and Confidence in Conservative Sharp Debridement on Feet
A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial
An essential skill for podiatrists is conservative sharp debridement of foot callus. Poor technique can result in lacerations, infections and possible amputation. This pilot trial explored whether adding simulation training to a traditional podiatry clinical placement improved podiatry student skills and confidence in conservative sharp debridement, compared with traditional clinical placement alone.
Twenty-nine podiatry students were allocated randomly to either a control group or an intervention group on day 1 of their clinical placement. On day 4, the intervention group (n = 15) received a 2-hour simulation workshop using a medical foot-care model, and the control group (n = 14) received a 2-hour workshop on compression therapy. Both groups continued to learn debridement skills as opportunities arose while on clinical placement. The participants' debridement skills were rated by an assessor blinded to group allocation on day 1 and day 8 of their clinical placement. Participants also rated their confidence in conservative sharp debridement using a questionnaire. Data were analyzed using logistic regression (skills) and analysis of covariance (confidence), with baseline scores as a covariate.
At day 8, analysis showed that those in the intervention group were 16 times more likely to be assessed as competent (95% confidence interval, 1.6–167.4) in their debridement skills and reported increased confidence in their skills (mean difference, 3.2 units; 95% confidence interval, 0.5–5.9) compared with those in the control group.
This preliminary evidence suggests that incorporating simulation into traditional podiatry clinical placements may improve student skills and confidence with conservative sharp debridement.
The deep plantar (D-PL) artery originates from the dorsalis pedis artery in the proximal first intermetatarsal space, an area where many procedures are performed to address deformity, traumatic injury, and infection. The potential risk of injury to the D-PL artery is concerning. The D-PL artery provides vascular contribution to the base of the first metatarsal and forms the D-PL arterial arch with the lateral plantar artery.
In an effort to improve our understanding of the positional relationship of the D-PL artery to the first metatarsal, dissections were performed on 43 embalmed cadaver feet to measure the location of the D-PL artery with respect to the base of the first metatarsal. Digital images of the dissected specimens were acquired and saved for measurement using in-house software. Means, standard deviations, and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for all of the measurement parameters.
We found that the origin of the D-PL artery was located at a mean ± SD of 11.5 ± 3.9 mm (95% CI, 4.5–24.7 mm) distal to the first metatarsal base and 18.6% ± 6.5% (95% CI, 8.1%–43.4%) of length in reference to the proximal base. The average interrater reliability across all of the measurements was 0.945.
This study helps clarify the anatomical location of the D-PL artery by providing parameters to aid the surgeon when performing procedures in the proximal first intermetatarsal space. Care must be taken when performing procedures in the region to avoid unintended vascular injury to the D-PL artery.
The anterolateral thigh (ALT) flap, which can be applied as a free or pedicled flap, is supplied by musculocutaneous or septocutaneous perforators belonging to the descending branch of the lateral circumflex femoral artery. Because local or regional flap options that can be used for the reconstruction of large tissue losses in the distal third of the tibia and foot are limited, ALT and other free flaps are frequently used when needed. The aim of this report is to present our experience with and clinical results of free ALT flaps in a tertiary health-care institution. Between June of 2017 and April of 2020, lower extremity reconstruction with free ALT flaps was performed in seven patients. In the preoperative period, dominant perforators were determined in each patient by Doppler ultrasonography, and surgery was planned considering the size and localization of the defect. All the patients were men, with an average age of 41.7 years. Three patients were operated on for implant exposition on the distal-medial third of the tibia after fracture repair, one patient for posttraumatic calcaneal deformity with osteomyelitis, and two patients because of localized posttraumatic tissue loss in the anterior aspect of the tibia and one patient in the dorsum of the foot. Secondary recovery was achieved in two patients and localized linear necrosis was observed at the flap suture line. No infection was observed in the donor or recipient site. In all patients, the donor site was closed primarily and no wound healing problem was encountered. This is one of the primary reconstruction options for the free ALT flap, especially in cases of large tissue losses in which local and/or regional flap alternatives are insufficient.
We surveyed the podiatric medicine professional and academic leadership concerning podiatric medicine professionals as disaster surge responders.
All US podiatric medical school deans and state society presidents were mailed a self-administered structured questionnaire. The leaders were asked to complete the questionnaire and return it by mail; two repeated mailings were made. Descriptive statistics were produced, and differences between deans and society presidents were tested by the Fisher exact test.
The response rate was 100% for the deans and 53% for the society presidents. All of the respondents agreed that podiatric physicians have skills applicable to catastrophe response, are ethically obligated to help, and should receive additional training in catastrophe response. Deans and society presidents agreed with the statements that podiatric physicians should provide basic first aid and place sutures, obtain medical histories, and assist with maintaining infection control. With one exception, all of the society presidents and deans agreed that with additional training, podiatric physicians could interpret radiographs, start intravenous lines, conduct mass casualty triage, manage a point of distribution, prescribe medications, and provide counseling to the worried well. There was variability in responses across the sources for training.
These findings suggest that deliberations regarding academic competencies at the podiatric medical school level and continuing education should be conducted by the profession for a surge response role, including prevention, response, mitigation, and recovery activities. After coordination and integration with response agencies, podiatric medicine has a role in strengthening the nation’s catastrophic event surge response. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(1): 87–93, 2013)