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.
The history and prosthetic difficulties of a patient with an unusual Chopart amputation variant have been presented. Although it is possible for the Chopart amputee to walk with just a shoe and filler, this patient does best with a formal prosthesis. The Chopart amputation, which has been surgically stabilized with Achilles tendon lengthening to prevent equinus contractures, can be fitted successfully with a lightweight circumferential plastic or silicone prosthesis or more traditionally with a solid ankle foot orthosis with filler. This partial foot prosthesis is worn with a sturdy shoe with a rocker and solid ankle cushion heel or a well constructed running shoe. The Chopart amputee with equinus contractures must be fitted with a Chopart clamshell prosthesis or solid ankle patellar tendon bearing orthosis with filler and the above shoe prescription. Recent variants of the partial foot prosthesis including the Imler partial foot prosthesis, the Lange silicone prosthesis, and the ankle corset prosthesis were described.
Background: Transmetatarsal amputation (TMA) is a viable option to avoid major amputation and limb loss in patients with forefoot sepsis, infection, or tissue loss. However, TMAs are associated with a significant incidence of dehiscence, readmission, and reoperation rates ranging from 26% to 63%. To encourage tissue healing, neovascularization, and durable closure, a nonwoven, resorbable, synthetic hybrid-scale fiber matrix whose architecture is similar to native human extracellular matrix was used in an augmented closure technique. We comparatively evaluated clinical outcomes and complication rates in TMA procedures with and without augmented closure.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of ten patients who underwent TMA with augmented closure using the synthetic matrix and ten patients who underwent TMA with standard primary closure was conducted.
Results: After TMA, 80% of the patients who underwent augmented closure demonstrated complete wound healing compared with 60% of the control group. Patients undergoing augmented closure demonstrated five instances of wound dehiscence and 20% limb loss compared with eight instances of wound dehiscence and 40% limb loss in the control group. After TMA and augmented closure, patients required eight interventional procedures before complete healing compared with patients undergoing standard closure, who required 13 interventional procedures before complete healing.
Conclusions: Augmented closure of surgical wounds after TMA using a synthetic hybrid-scale fiber matrix provided a unique means of reducing time to healing (18%), wound dehiscence (29%), number of procedures performed (39%), and rate of limb loss (20%). Augmented closure, therefore, offers a means of improving quality of life and reducing risk for patients undergoing TMA, and potentially reducing total cost of care.
To assess the outcome of transmetatarsal amputations of the foot, data were analyzed for all transmetatarsal and midfoot amputations performed at the Lebanon Veterans Health Administration Medical Center for the period 1984 to 1990. During this 6-year period, 42 consecutive transmetatarsal and midfoot amputations were performed on 39 patients. Patient demographics, factors leading to amputation, level of amputation, outcome, function, and long-term complications were analyzed. Overall healing rate was 83.3%, with an average length of hospital stay of 35.7 days (range 3 to 96 days). Average follow-up period was 30.2 months (range 2 to 65 months).
Emergency department visits for lower extremity complications of diabetes are extremely common throughout the world. Surprisingly, recent data suggest that such visits generate an 81.2% hospital admission rate with an annual bill of at least $1.2 billion in the United States alone. The likelihood of amputation and other subsequent adverse outcomes is strongly associated with three factors: 1) wound severity (degree of tissue loss), 2) ischemia, and 3) foot infection. Using these factors, this article outlines the basic principles needed to create an evidence-based, rapid foot assessment for diabetic foot ulcers presenting to the emergency department, and suggests the establishment of a “hot foot line” for an organized, expeditious response from limb salvage team members. We present a nearly immediate assessment and referral system for patients with atraumatic tissue loss below the knee that has the potential to vastly expedite lower extremity triage in the emergency room setting through greater collaboration and organization.
For several decades, Chopart's amputation has met with some skepticism owing to reports of significant equinus deformity developing soon after the procedure is performed. However, with appropriate tendon balancing, which generally includes anterior tibial tendon transfer and tendo Achillis lengthening, this level of amputation is often more functional than slightly more distal amputations, such as Lisfranc or short transmetatarsal amputations. The authors offer a rationale for this observation, which includes a discussion of the longitudinal and transverse arch concept of the foot. This concept dictates that the shorter the midfoot-level amputation, the more likely the patient is to develop an equinovarus deformity, thus exposing the fifth metatarsal base and cuboid to weightbearing stress and a high risk of ulceration. Chopart's amputation, in eliminating the cuboid, often obviates the potential varus deformity and thus can have a more acceptable long-term result.
The effect of diabetes on the lower extremity can be devastating. Surgical intervention on the diabetic foot must be carefully planned, and long-term results must be anticipated. The authors present a case history of a patient with multiple previous amputations of the forefoot, resulting in a severe deformity and a nonfunctional foot. Transmetatarsal amputation, if performed correctly, should provide a relatively functional extremity.
While the transmetatarsal amputation has resulted in the salvage of numerous diabetic limbs, it remains an ablative procedure with both short- and long-term complications. The authors reviewed their experience with the panmetatarsal head resection as an alternative to the transmetatarsal amputation. A retrospective review was performed of all patients having undergone this procedure between May 1986 and November 1991. Thirty-seven procedures were performed; of these, 34 were evaluated. The average follow-up period was 20.9 months. Thirty-two feet showed primary healing while one showed delayed healing. One patient had local recurrence of the original ulceration. Primary healing was 94% while overall success was 97%. No patient required amputation of any kind. The authors conclude that the panmetatarsal head resection is a viable alternative to the transmetatarsal amputation in properly selected patients because it avoids many of the structural and biomechanical pitfalls of the transmetatarsal amputation.
Complex soft-tissue injuries consist of difficult traumatic injuries caused by high-energy mechanisms such as motor vehicle accidents, lawnmower injuries, and crush injuries from heavy objects. Many times, because of the high-energy trauma, there is significant damage to the soft tissue and underlying bone, leading to a complex situation for healing. In this case report, a 43-year-old woman presented with extensive degloving injury and open fractures of the forefoot resulting from a lawnmower accident. After extensive irrigation and debridement, wound closure was achieved using a full-thickness skin graft (FTSG). Although many case reports have been published about management of these complex soft-tissue injuries, there are no reports on using an autologous FTSG from a neighboring digit undergoing distal amputation for wound coverage. This report discusses the technique of using an autologous FTSG from an amputated specimen to achieve wound coverage with adequate limb salvage principles.
A review of 64 midfoot amputations performed between 1980 and 1985 revealed that complications occurred in 42% of the series. These included early wound dehiscence and late re-ulceration after the patient began walking again. By providing aggressive management and appropriate local revisions, 84% of the original group's limbs were salvaged at a functionally significant level. These findings underscore the fact that midfoot amputation requires diligent immediate and long-term follow-up if an acceptable success rate is to be achieved.