Background: Recurrent ulceration is a common problem after partial first-ray amputations. Loss of the first metatarsophalangeal joint contributes to altered biomechanics and increased pressure on the foot. This may increase risk of adjacent ulcerations and additional amputations. Preserving first-ray length maintains the metatarsal parabola and limits transfer lesions, but few data support this. We aimed to evaluate the incidence of ulceration after partial first-ray amputations and to assess the association between metatarsal protrusion distance and recurrent ulceration.
Methods: Thirty-two consecutive patients underwent unilateral partial first-ray amputation at various levels along the first metatarsal, and the metatarsal protrusion distance was measured after surgery. Incidence of ulceration was evaluated on the ipsilateral foot. We hypothesized that patients with a longer first metatarsal were less likely to ulcerate again on the ipsilateral foot.
Results: Fourteen patients (43.8%) ulcerated again after partial first-ray amputation. Mean time to ulceration was 104 days. Active smoking status was associated with increased risk of another ulceration (P = .02), and chronic kidney disease was associated with a decreased risk of recurrent ulceration (P = .03). The average metatarsal protrusion distance for patients who ulcerated again after surgery was 36.1 mm versus 25.9 mm for patients who did not (P = .04). Logistic regression analysis of the receiver operating characteristic curve demonstrated an ideal cutoff length for recurrent ulceration of 37 mm (area under the curve = 0.7381). Patients with a protrusion distance greater than 37 mm were nine times as likely to ulcerate again (95% CI, 1.7–47.0).
Conclusions: Partial first-ray amputations can be a good initial salvage procedure to clear infection and prolong bipedal ambulatory status. Unfortunately, these patients are prone to recurrent ulceration. Significant loss of first metatarsal length is a poor prognostic indicator for recurrent ulceration.
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)
Diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) is a common cause of many lower-extremity complications. This case study illustrates the potential perils of pet ownership associated with diabetes and neuropathy. The case describes an incident resulting in traumatic digital amputations inflicted by a patient’s pet feline while she was sleeping. In presenting this case, the potential risks of pet ownership for patients with DPN are discussed along with a review of the relevant literature. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(5): 441–444, 2013)
The transmetatarsal amputation has been performed for over 40 years as a limb salvage procedure, in diabetic patients with nonhealing ulcerations or nonreconstructible ischemia. It is generally believed that the transmetatarsal amputation provides a better walking extremity than a more proximal amputation and is more energy efficient. A review of the literature reveals little regarding the biomechanics of the "short foot." The authors will review the functions of the myofascial structures in both the normal foot and the transmetatarsal amputation and discuss the influence of mechanics on transmetatarsal amputation lesions.
One relatively universal functional goal after major lower-limb amputation is ambulation in a prosthesis. This retrospective, observational investigation sought to 1) determine what percentage of patients successfully walked in a prosthesis within 1 year after major limb amputation and 2) assess which patient factors might be associated with ambulation at an urban US tertiary-care hospital.
A retrospective medical record review was performed to identify consecutive patients undergoing major lower-limb amputation.
The overall rate of ambulation in a prosthesis was 29.94% (50.0% of those with unilateral below-the-knee amputation [BKA] and 20.0% of those with unilateral above-the-knee amputation [AKA]). In 24.81% of patients with unilateral BKA or AKA, a secondary surgical procedure of the amputation site was required. In those with unilateral BKA or AKA, statistically significant factors associated with ambulation included male sex (odds ratio [OR] = 2.50) and at least 6 months of outpatient follow-up (OR = 8.10), survival for at least 1 postoperative year (OR = 8.98), ambulatory preamputation (OR = 14.40), returned home after the amputation (OR = 6.12), and healing of the amputation primarily without a secondary surgical procedure (OR = 3.62). Those who had a history of dementia (OR = 0.00), a history of peripheral arterial disease (OR = 0.35), and a preamputation history of ipsilateral limb revascularization (OR = 0.14) were less likely to walk. We also observed that patients with a history of outpatient evaluation by a podiatric physician before major amputation were 2.63 times as likely to undergo BKA as opposed to AKA and were 2.90 times as likely to walk after these procedures.
These results add to the body of knowledge regarding outcomes after major amputation and could be useful in the education and consent of patients faced with major amputation.
This study evaluated the magnitude and location of activity of diabetic patients at high risk for foot amputation. Twenty subjects aged 64.6 ± 1.8 years with diabetes, neuropathy, deformity, or a history of lower-extremity ulceration or partial foot amputation were dispensed a continuous activity monitor and a log book to record time periods spent in and out of their homes for 1 week. The results indicate that patients took more steps per hour outside their home, but took more steps per day inside their homes. Although 85% of the patients wore their physician-approved shoes most or all of the time while they were outside their homes, only 15% continued to wear them at home. Focusing on protection of the foot during in-home ambulation may be an important factor on which to focus future multidisciplinary efforts to reduce the incidence of ulceration and amputation. The ability to continuously monitor the magnitude, duration, and time of activity ultimately may assist clinicians in dosing activity just as they dose drugs. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(9): 451-455, 2001)
Recurrent ulcerations may develop following transmetatarsal amputation in patients with diabetes mellitus. In many cases, these ulcerations require surgical intervention to achieve healing, especially in situations where conservative care has not been effective. These procedures range from the local resection of bone to skin grafting and flap techniques to successfully heal the wound. The ultimate goal of any surgical intervention is to prevent a more proximal amputation.
Diabetes-related lower limb amputations (LLAs) are a major complication that can be reduced by employing multidisciplinary center frameworks such as the Toe and Flow model (TFM). In this study, we investigate the LLAs reduction efficacy of the TFM compared to the standard of care (SOC) in the Canadian health-care system.
We retrospectively reviewed the anonymized diabetes-related LLA reports (2007-2017) in Calgary and Edmonton metropolitan health zones in Alberta, Canada. Both zones have the same provincial health-care coverage and similar demographics; however, Calgary operates based on the TFM while Edmonton with the provincial SOC. LLAs were divided into minor and major amputation cohorts and evaluated using the chi-square test, linear regression. A lower major LLAs rate was denoted as a sign for higher efficacy of the system.
Although LLAs numbers remained relatively comparable (Calgary: 2238 and Edmonton: 2410), the Calgary zone had both significantly lower major (45%) and higher minor (42%) amputation incidence rates compared to the Edmonton zone. The increasing trend in minor LLAs and decreasing major LLAs in the Calgary zone were negatively and significantly correlated (r = -0.730, p = 0.011), with no significant correlation in the Edmonton zone.
Calgary's decreasing diabetes-related major LLAs and negative correlation in the minor-major LLAs rates compared to its sister zone Edmonton, provides support for the positive impact of the TFM. This investigation includes support for a modernization of the diabetes-related limb preservation practice in Canada by implementing TFMs across the country to combat major LLAs.
Gout is a purine metabolism disease. Tophaceous gout may cause joint destruction and other systemic problems and sometimes may be complicated by infection. Infection and sinus with discharge associated with tophaceous gout are serious complications, and treatment is difficult. We present a patient with tophaceous gout complicated by infection and discharging sinus treated by bilateral amputation at the level of the first metatarsus.
A 43-year-old man previously diagnosed as having gout, and noncompliant with treatment, presented with tophaceous gout associated with discharging sinus and infection on his left first metatarsophalangeal joint. Because of the discharging sinus associated with the tophaceous deposits, the soft-tissue and bony defects, and the noncompliance of the patient, amputation of the first ray was undertaken, and a local plantar fasciocutaneous flap was used to close the defect. After 8 months, the patient was admitted to the emergency department with similar symptoms in his right foot, and the same surgical procedure was performed.
One year after the second surgery, the patient had no symptoms, there was no local inflammatory reaction over the surgical areas, and laboratory test results were normal.
Gout disease with small tophi often can be managed conservatively. However, in patients with extensive lesions, risk of superinfection justifies surgical treatment. Results of complicated cases are not without morbidity; therefore, early surgical treatment may prevent extremity loss and further complications. In severe cases, especially with compliance issues, amputation provides acceptable results.
We present a case of a pediatric patient with a history of spina bifida who presented to the emergency department of a large Army medical treatment facility with a partially amputated right fifth digit she sustained while sleeping with the family canine. There are several reports in the popular press that suggest that an animal, particularly a dog, can detect human infection, and it is hypothesized that the toe chewing was triggered by a wound infection. This case provides an opportunity to provide further education in caring for foot wounds in patients with spina bifida.