Background: Diabetic foot infections (DFIs) can lead to limb loss and mortality. To improve patient care at a safety-net teaching hospital, we created a multidisciplinary limb salvage service (LSS).
Methods: We recruited a cohort prospectively and compared it to a historical control group. Adults admitted to the newly established LSS for DFI during a 6-month period from 2016 to 2017 were included prospectively. Patients admitted to the LSS had routine endocrine and infectious diseases consultations according to a standardized protocol. A retrospective analysis of patients admitted to the acute care surgical service for DFI before creation of the LSS during an 8-month period from 2014 to 2015 was performed.
Results: A total of 250 patients were divided into two groups: the pre-LSS (n = 92) and the LSS (n = 158) groups. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics. Although all patients were ultimately diagnosed with diabetes, more patients in the LSS group had hypertension (71% versus 56%; P = .01) and a prior diagnosis of diabetes mellitus (92% versus 63%; P < .001) compared to the pre-LSS group. Significantly, with the LSS, fewer patients underwent a below-the-knee amputation (3.6% versus 13%; P = .001). There was no difference in the length of hospital stay or 30-day readmission rate between the groups. Further broken down into Hispanic versus non-Hispanic, we noted that Hispanics had significantly lower rates of below-the-knee amputations (3.6% versus 13.0%; P = .02) in the LSS cohort.
Conclusions: The initiation of a multidisciplinary LSS decreased the below-the-knee amputation rate in patients with DFIs. Length of stay was not increased, nor was the 30-day readmission rate affected. These results suggest that a robust multidisciplinary LSS dedicated to the management of DFIs is both feasible and effective, even in safety-net hospitals.
Background: Since the implementation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), the life expectancy of patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has significantly increased. This is likely to cause changes in podiatric medical manifestations, such as plantar verrucae, in this population.
Methods: Attendees at a San Francisco street fair in 2008 provided information about HIV status and the presence of verrucae via a survey. A total of 504 surveys were analyzed and compared with 1995 data, before HAART implementation. We examined if there was a statistically significant change in the increased likelihood of plantar verrucae in HIV-positive patients from 1995 to 2008. Then we examined the likelihood of HIV-positive patients (compared to HIV-negative patients) presenting with plantar verrucae in 2008, by using logistic regression, and controlling for age, sex, and race/ethnicity.
Results: Patients with HIV infection were 5.2 times more likely to present with plantar verrucae compared to patients without HIV infection in 2008 (95% confidence interval, 2.5–11.0, P < .0001) and 10.0 times more likely in 1995 (95% confidence interval, 3.4–29.0, P < .0001). This decrease in likelihood over time was not statistically significantly different (P = .33). Logistic regression analysis controlling for the covariates of age, race, and sex showed that patients with HIV in 2008 were 4.5 times more likely to present with verrucae compared to patients without HIV (95% confidence interval, 2.1–9.9, P = .0002).
Conclusions: Patients with HIV infection in 2008 are still significantly more likely to present with plantar verrucae after controlling for age, race, and sex. This increased likelihood has not changed significantly across time. Because HAART has increased the life expectancy of patients with HIV, this group of patients with plantar verrucae will continue to represent a significant population in the practice of podiatric medicine. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(1): 35–40, 2011)
We present the case of a 66-year-old, type II diabetic male with a deep wound to the plantar-lateral aspect of his right hallux. On examination, the central plantar compartment of his right foot was moderately erythematous and tender on palpation. After obtaining a deep wound culture, treatment was complicated by a progression of a group B and F beta streptococcus, necrotizing infection. The patient underwent a right hallux amputation, followed by a plantar medial incision for drainage of an abscess to the medial and central plantar compartments of the foot. Due to the extent and limb threat of the infection, the patient ultimately underwent a transmetatarsal amputation. Advanced healing modalities were also employed to decrease wound healing times, which allowed the patient to achieve early weightbearing and return to activities of daily living. This study depicts how the astute podiatric surgeon needs to make a decision in a timely manner to surgically debride all nonviable and necrotic tissue in order to minimize further amputation and preserve foot function.
The relationship between hyperglycemia and adverse outcomes after surgery has been widely documented. Long-term glucose control has been recognized as a risk factor for postoperative complications. In the foot and ankle literature, long-term glycemic control as a potential perioperative risk factor is not well studied. Our goal was to investigate whether hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level was independently associated with postoperative complications in a retrospective cohort study.
Three hundred twenty-two patients with a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus were enrolled in the study to assess risk factors associated with postoperative foot and ankle surgery complications.
Bivariate analyses showed that HbA1c level and having at least one comorbidity were associated with postoperative infections. However, after adjusting for other covariates, the only significant factor was HbA1c level, with each increment of 1% increasing the odds of infection by a factor of 1.59 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.28–1.99). For postoperative wound-healing complications, bivariate analyses showed that body mass index, having at least one comorbidity, and HbA1c level were significant factors. After adjusting for other covariates, the only significant factors for developing postoperative wound complications were having at least one comorbidity (odds ratio, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.22–3.37) and HbA1c level (each 1% increment) (odds ratio, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.02–1.53).
In this retrospective study, HbA1c level had the strongest association with postoperative foot and ankle surgery complications in patients with diabetes.
Background: Point-of-care testing for infection might help podiatric physicians optimize management of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Glycologic’s proprietary GLYWD product has been developed to detect changes in a patient’s immunologic/inflammatory response related to wound infection. We evaluated how bacterial presence in DFUs relates to GLYWD test outcome.
Methods: This was a single-organization, prospective, controlled cohort study of clinical opinion versus GLYWD test result for DFU infection status and the appraisal of bacterial presence in the wounds and semiquantitative microbiology swab at weeks 0, 3, 6, 12, and 18. Spearman correlation, backward elimination linear regression, and principal components analysis were applied to determine which variables, including degree of bacterial load, are associated with a positive clinical opinion or GLYWD result for DFU infection.
Results: Forty-eight patients were enrolled, and 142 complete wound appraisals were conducted; a consensus outcome between clinical opinion and GLYWD result was achieved in most (n = 122, 86%). Clinical opinion significantly correlated with a higher bacterial load (Spearman rho = 0.38; P < .01), whereas GLYWD did not (rho = –0.010; P = .91). This observation was corroborated with logistic regression analysis, in which a previous observation of both clinical opinion and GLYWD associating with wound purulence and erythema was also confirmed.
Conclusions: Podiatric physicians are guided by hallmark signs of DFU infection, such as erythema and purulence; furthermore, we found that clinical opinion of infection correlates with increased bacterial load. GLYWD test results match clinical opinion in most cases, although the results obtained with this point-of-care method suggest that the degree of bacterial presence might not necessarily mean a higher chance of inducing an immunologic/inflammatory host response to said bacteria.
Skin and soft tissue infection and cutaneous abscesses are common in children. They may be polymicrobial in nature, especially when located proximal to mucous membranes. A general knowledge of the common causative bacterial organisms in these infections enables the physician to empirically institute antimicrobial therapy before culture results are available. This review assesses the number and types of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria that occur in skin and soft tissue infections in children. Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes were recovered from infections occurring at all body sites, but predominated in infections of the leg, neck, and hand. Group D streptococci, Enterobacteriaceae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Bacteroides fragilis, and Prevotella species were isolated mostly from infections of the external genitalia and perirectal areas; pigmented Prevotella and Porphyromonas and Haemophilus influenzae can be isolated from infections of the head and neck. Management of skin and soft tissue infections in children should include surgical and medical therapy.
Because of the ubiquitous nature of dermatophytes and a lack of an adaptive immune response in the nail plate, recurrence and relapse rates associated with superficial fungal infections are high (10%–53%). Cured or improved dermatophytosis patients could become reinfected if exposed to fungal reservoirs, such as an infected shoe, sock, or textile. To prevent this, footwear, sock, and textile sanitization methods can be used. To provide insight into effective sanitization options, the focus of this article is to review footwear, sock, and textile sanitization studies conducted throughout history (1920–2016). Thirty-three studies are covered in this review, encompassing techniques ranging from formaldehyde fumigation and foot powder application, to more modern approaches such as UV light and silver-light irradiation technologies. Older sanitization methods (eg, boiling, use of chlorine and salts) are quite limited in their practicality, as they can result in health complications and ruin shoe integrity. Newer approaches to shoe and sock sanitization, such as ozone application and UV irradiation, have shown very promising results. Further research is still needed with these modern techniques, as knowledge gaps and cost prevent the creation of standardized parameters for successful use. By combining sanitization methods with other preventative measures, protection against reinfection may be enhanced.
Recently the authors have noted a disturbing trend toward an increased incidence of necrotizing infections caused by non-group A streptococcal species. This article describes the typical clinical course of such an infection. Prompt surgical intervention, coupled with an antibiotic regimen aimed at mitigating exotoxin release, may be both limb- and life-preserving.