The timely and accurate noninvasive assessment of peripheral arterial disease is a critical component of a limb preservation initiative in patients with diabetes mellitus. Noninvasive vascular studies can be useful in screening patients with diabetes for peripheral arterial disease. In patients with clinical signs or symptoms, noninvasive vascular studies provide crucial information on the presence, location, and severity of peripheral arterial disease and an objective assessment of the potential for primary healing of an index wound or a surgical incision. Appropriately selected noninvasive vascular studies are important in the decision-making process to determine whether and what type of intervention might be most appropriate given the clinical circumstances. Hemodynamic monitoring is likewise important after either an endovascular procedure or a surgical bypass. Surveillance studies, usually with a combination of physiologic testing and imaging with duplex ultrasound, accurately identify recurrent disease before the occurrence of thrombosis, allowing targeted reintervention. Noninvasive vascular studies can be broadly grouped into three general categories: physiologic or hemodynamic measurements, anatomical imaging, and measurements of tissue perfusion. These types of tests and suggestions for their appropriate application in patients with diabetes are reviewed. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 406–411, 2010)
This investigation evaluates the effects of diabetes on the mechanical properties of human bone, specifically, the tibia. Seven diabetic and seven nondiabetic human (male) cadaveric distal tibiae were used in this study. The average age of the diabetic cadaveric samples was 51 years (range, 46–61 years), and the average age of the nondiabetic cadaveric samples was 75 years (range, 67–85 years). Three-point bending tests for strength and stiffness were performed on a small sample of each distal tibia. Each specimen was loaded at a constant rate until failure. From the recorded curve of load versus displacement, the ultimate and yield strength of bone and the bending modulus of bone were calculated. The diabetic samples were generally weaker than the older, nondiabetic samples, but no statistically significant differences were found in the elastic modulus (P = .29), yield strength (P = .90), ultimate strength (P = .46), and fracture toughness (P = .78), leading to speculation that diabetes has an effect similar to that of aging on the musculoskeletal system. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(2): 91–95, 2006)
Fifteen percent of individuals with diabetes will likely develop foot ulcers in their lifetime, and approximately 15% to 20% of these ulcers are estimated to result in lower extremity amputation. Techniques to prevent lower extremity amputation range from the simple but often neglected foot inspection to complicated vascular and reconstructive foot surgery. Appropriate management can prevent and heal diabetic foot ulcers, thereby greatly decreasing the amputation rate and medical care costs. Prevention is the key to treatment. The author discusses general guidelines for foot screening and identifies three specific goals for prevention of amputation: 1) identification of at risk individuals needing prevention and the specific factors placing them at risk; 2) protection of the foot against the adverse effects of external forces (pressure, friction, and shear); and 3) reduction of the incidence of diabetic foot ulcers through educational programs.
A traumatic amputation of a digit as a result of canine mastication and ingestion occurred in a 48-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. The injury occurred during sleep and was not felt by the patient. The dangers of sleeping with one’s canine for those with neuropathic wounds are presented, and the literature is reviewed. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(3): 275–276, 2011)
Endovascular therapy has increasingly become the initial clinical option for the treatment of lower-extremity peripheral arterial occlusive disease not only for patients with claudication but also for those with critical limb ischemia. Despite this major clinical practice paradigm shift, the outcomes of endovascular therapy for peripheral arterial disease are difficult to evaluate and compare with established surgical benchmarks because of the lack of prospective randomized trials, incomplete characterization of indications for intervention, mixing of arterial segments and extent of disease treated, the multiplicity of endovascular therapy techniques used, the exclusion of early treatment failures, crossover to open bypass during follow-up, and the frequent lack of intermediate and long-term patency and limb salvage rates in life-table format. These data limitations are especially problematic when one tries to assess the outcomes of endovascular therapy in patients with diabetes. The purpose of the present article is to succinctly review and objectively analyze available data regarding the results of endovascular therapy in patients with diabetes. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 424–428, 2010)
Diabetes-related foot ulcers are a leading cause of global morbidity, mortality, and health-care costs. People with a history of foot ulcers have a diminished quality of life attributed to limited walking and mobility. One of the largest concerns is ulceration recurrence. Approximately 40% of patients with ulcerations will have a recurrent ulcer in the year after healing, and most occur in the first 3 months after wound healing. Hence, this period after ulceration is called “remission” due to this risk of reulceration. Promoting and fostering mobility is an integral part of everyday life and is important for maintaining good physical health and health-related quality of life for all people living with diabetes. In this short perspective, we provide recommendations on how to safely increase walking activity and facilitate appropriate off-loading and monitoring in people with a recently healed foot ulcer, foot reconstruction, or partial foot amputation. Interventions include monitored activity training, dosed out in steadily increasing increments and coupled with daily skin temperature monitoring, which can identify dangerous “hotspots” prone to recurrence. By understanding areas at risk, patients are empowered to maximize ulcer-free days and to enable an improved quality of life. This perspective outlines a unified strategy to treat patients in the remission period after ulceration and aims to provide clinicians with appropriate patient recommendations based on best available evidence and expert opinion to educate their patients to ensure a safe transition to footwear and return to activity.
Split-thickness skin grafts can be used for foot wound closure in diabetic and nondiabetic patients. It is unknown whether this procedure is reliable for all diabetic patients, with or without comorbidities of diabetes, including cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, retinopathy, and nephropathy.
We retrospectively reviewed 203 patients who underwent this procedure to determine significant differences in healing time, postoperative infection, and need for revisional surgery and to create a predictive model to identify diabetic patients who are likely to have a successful outcome.
Overall, compared with nondiabetic patients, diabetic patients experienced a significantly higher risk of delayed healing time and postoperative complication/infection and, hence, are more likely to require revisional surgery after undergoing the initial split-thickness skin graft procedure. These differences seemed to be related more to the presence of comorbidities than to diabetic status itself. Diabetic patients with preexisting comorbidities experienced a significantly increased risk of delayed healing time and postoperative infection and a higher need for revisional surgery compared with nondiabetic patients or diabetic patients without comorbidities. However, there were no significant differences in outcome between diabetic patients without comorbidities and nondiabetic patients.
For individuals with diabetes but without exclusionary comorbidities, split-thickness skin grafting may be considered an effective surgical alternative to other prolonged treatment options currently used in this patient population. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(3): 223–232, 2013)
Background: To evaluate complications and risk factors for nonunion in patients with diabetes after ankle fracture.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective study of 139 patients with diabetes and ankle fractures followed for 1 year. We evaluated the incidence of wounds, infections, nonunions, Charcot’s arthropathy, and amputations. We determined Fracture severity (unimalleolar, bimalleolar, trimalleolar), nonunion, and Charcot’s arthropathy from radiographs. Nonunion was defined as a fracture that did not heal within 6 months of fracture. Analysis of variance was used to compare continuous variables, and χ2 tests to compare dichotomous variables, with α = 0.05. Logistic regression was performed with a binary variable representing nonunions as the dependent variable.
Results: Complications were common: nonunion (24.5%), Charcot’s arthropathy (7.9%), wounds (5.2%), wound site infection (17.3%), and leg amputation (2.2%). Patients with nonunions were more likely to be male (55.9% versus 29.5%; P = .005), have sensory neuropathy (76.5% versus 32.4%; P < .001), have end-stage renal disease (17.6% versus 2.9%; P < .001), and use insulin (73.5% versus 40.1%; P < .001), β-blockers (58.8% versus 39.0%; P = .049), and corticosteroids (26.5% versus 9.5%; P = .02). Among patients with nonunion, there was an increased risk of wounds (odds ratio [OR], 3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.46–7.73), infection (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 0.72–5.61), amputation (OR, 7.74; 95% CI, 1.01–100.23), and long-term bracing (OR, 9.51; 95% CI, 3.8–23.8). In the logistic regression analysis, four factors were associated with fracture nonunion: dialysis (OR, 7.7; 95% CI, 1.7–35.2), insulin use (OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.5–7.4), corticosteroid use (OR, 4.9; 95% CI, 1.4–18.0), and ankle fracture severity (bimalleolar or trimalleolar fracture) (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.1–5.4).
Conclusions: These results demonstrate risk factors for nonunions: dialysis, insulin use, and fracture severity after ankle fracture in patients with diabetes.
One hundred eighty-seven type 2 diabetic patients without a history of foot ulceration were followed for a mean period of 3.6 years to investigate the incidence of foot ulceration in a diabetes cohort and to analyze risk factors for foot ulceration by multivariate means. During the study, 10 subjects developed 18 forefoot ulcerations. In multivariate logistic regression, significant predictors for foot ulceration were an elevated vibration perception threshold (VPT) (relative risk [RR] = 25.4), an increased plantar pressure (RR = 6.3), and daily alcohol intake (RR = 5.1). This is the first prospective study to demonstrate plantar pressure and daily alcohol intake as predictors of foot ulceration among patients without previous ulceration. Further, VPT could be confirmed as the strongest predictor for foot ulceration, and it was clearly demonstrated that the more pronounced severity of complications occurred among subjects with elevated VPT. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(7): 343-350, 2001)
Diabetes mellitus is a predisposing factor for onychomycosis (OM). A high frequency of nonfungal onychodystrophy (OD) is also alleged, although information on the prevalence of specific nail changes is scant. We evaluated the prevalence and types of nail changes in a cohort of diabetic patients with fungal and nonfungal OD.
During a 6-month period, inpatients with diabetes mellitus were screened for foot and toenail changes. Demographic, social, and clinical data were recorded, as was information concerning foot and toenail care. Fungal infection was confirmed by mycologic examination and by histologic analysis of nail clippings.
Of the 82 patients included, 65 (79.3%) had nail changes, and 34 of these 65 patients (52.3%) were diagnosed as having OM. The most frequently observed nail signs were subungual hyperkeratosis, onycholysis, yellow discoloration, and splinter hemorrhages, each seen in more than 25% of the patients. Tinea pedis and superficial pseudoleukonychia were observed more frequently in the OM group (P < .05). Conversely, prominent metatarsal heads and history of nail trauma were more frequent in patients with nonfungal OD (P < .05).
Physicians who care for diabetic patients should not ignore nail changes. Fungal and nonfungal OD are common and should be addressed in the global evaluation of the feet to help prevent breaks in the skin barrier and subsequent bacterial infections and ulcers.