Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Recent improved therapies have resulted in more patients surviving cancer and living longer. Despite these advances, the majority of patients will develop adverse events from anticancer therapies. Foot alterations, including nail toxicities, hand-foot syndrome, edema, xerosis, hyperkeratosis, and neuropathy, are frequent among cancer patients. These untoward conditions may negatively impact quality of life, and in some cases may result in the interruption or discontinuation of cancer treatments. Appropriate prevention, diagnosis, and management of podiatric adverse events are essential to maintain foot function and health-related quality of life, both of which are critical for the care of cancer patients and survivors. This article shows results related to complaint and impact on quality of life of the Oncology Foot Care program and reviews publications specific to podiatric adverse events related to cancer treatments.
Patient education is a fundamental aspect of the management of foot ulcers in the patient with diabetes mellitus. Preventive measures have to be focused on the individual risk profile of the patient and on the chronology of appearance of symptoms. Teaching issues need to be adapted into the following three stages: A) before: prevention of foot ulceration in the at-risk patient; B) acute: prevention of extension of an existing ulcer; and C) after: prevention of recurrence.
Foot ulceration and lower-extremity amputation are devastating end-stage complications of diabetes. Despite agreement that diabetic foot self-care is a key factor in prevention of ulcers and amputation, there has only been limited success in influencing these behaviors among patients with diabetes. While most efforts have focused on increasing patient knowledge, knowledge and behavior are poorly correlated. Knowledge is necessary but rarely sufficient for behavior change. A key determinant to adherence to self-care behavior is clinician counseling style. Podiatrists are the ideal providers to engage in a brief behavioral intervention with a patient. Motivational interviewing is a well-accepted, evidence-based teachable approach that enhances self-efficacy and increases intrinsic motivation for change and adherence to treatment. This article summarizes some key strategies that can be employed by podiatrists to improve foot self-care. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(1): 78–84, 2011)
One hundred thirty-two female basketball players were observed for lower-extremity overuse injury between 1993 and 2004. Athletes studied between 1993 and 1996 did not receive foot orthotic devices and composed the control group. The treatment group comprised athletes studied between 1996 and 2004. Athletes in the treatment group were given a foot orthotic device before participation in basketball. Data analysis included lower-extremity overuse injury rates and the effect of foot orthotic devices on lower-extremity overuse injury rates by means of an incidence density ratio. The control group had a lower-extremity overuse injury rate of 5.37 per 1,000 exposures, and the treatment group had a rate of 6.44 per 1,000 exposures. The incidence density ratio was not significant (P = .44). This study rejects the concept that foot orthotic devices may assist in prevention of lower-extremity overuse injury in female basketball players. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(5): 408–412, 2006)
In 2007, the treatment of diabetes and its complications in the United States generated at least $116 billion in direct costs; at least 33% of these costs were linked to the treatment of foot ulcers. Although the team approach to diabetic foot problems is effective in preventing lower-extremity amputations, the costs associated with implementing a diabetic-foot–care team are not well understood. An analysis of these costs provides the basis for this report.
Diabetic foot problems impose a major economic burden, and costs increase disproportionately to the severity of the condition. Compared with diabetic patients without foot ulcers, the cost of care for those with foot ulcers is 5.4 times higher in the year after the first ulcer episode and 2.8 times higher in the second year. Costs for treating the highest-grade ulcers are 8 times higher than are those for treating low-grade ulcers. Patients with diabetic foot ulcers require more frequent emergency department visits and are more commonly admitted to the hospital, requiring longer lengths of stay. Implementation of the team approach to manage diabetic foot ulcers in a given region or health-care system has been reported to reduce long-term amputation rates 62% to 82%. Limb salvage efforts may include aggressive therapy such as revascularization procedures and advanced wound-healing modalities. Although these procedures are costly, the team approach gradually leads to improved screening and prevention programs and earlier interventions and, thus, seems to reduce long-term costs.
To date, aggressive limb preservation management for patients with diabetic foot ulcers has not usually been paired with adequate reimbursement. It is essential to direct efforts in patient-caregiver education to allow early recognition and management of all diabetic foot problems and to build integrated pathways of care that facilitate timely access to limb salvage procedures. Increasing evidence suggests that the costs of implementing diabetic foot teams can be offset in the long term by improved access to care and reductions in foot complications and amputation rates. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 335–341, 2010)
The proper prescription and utilization of therapeutic footwear is crucial to successful prevention of diabetic foot complications. The author reviews shoe alternatives' characteristics and proper fit. The concept of foot risk categories is explained and appropriate shoe selections are discussed.
The author describes an effort that demonstrates a successful partnership between a professional education program in podiatric medicine, the Pennsylvania State Health Department, and the Professional Diabetes Academy, which served as the catalyst for health promotion, prevention, and education. Similar programs through adaptations geared to local resources could be developed as a demonstration of direct secondary prevention of the complications of diabetes in the older population and have the potential to help meet national goals to significantly reduce amputations.
Ill-fitting shoes may precipitate up to half of all diabetes-related amputations and are often cited as a leading cause of diabetic foot ulcers (DFU), with those patients being 5 to 10 times more likely to present wearing improperly fitting shoes. Among patients with prior DFU, those who self-select their shoe wear are at a three-fold risk for reulceration at 3 years versus those patients wearing prescribed shoes. Properly designed and fitted shoes should then address much of this problem, but evidence supporting the benefit of therapeutic shoe programs is inconclusive. The current study, performed in a male veteran population, is the first such effort to examine the prevalence and extent of change in foot length affecting individuals following skeletal maturity. Nearly half of all participants in our study experienced a ≥1 shoe size change in foot length during adulthood. We suggest that these often unrecognized changes may explain the broad use of improperly sized shoe wear, and its associated sequelae such as DFU and amputation. Regular clinical assessment of shoe fit in at-risk populations is therefore also strongly recommended as part of a comprehensive amputation prevention program.
Drug-based treatment of superficial fungal infections, such as onychomycosis, is not the only defense. Sanitization of footwear such as shoes, socks/stockings, and other textiles is integral to the prevention of recurrence and reduction of spread for superficial fungal mycoses. The goal of this review was to examine the available methods of sanitization for footwear and textiles against superficial fungal infections. A systematic literature search of various sanitization devices and methods that could be applied to footwear and textiles using PubMed, Scopus, and MEDLINE was performed. Fifty-four studies were found relevant to the different methodologies, devices, and techniques of sanitization as they pertain to superficial fungal infections of the feet. These included topics of basic sanitization, antifungal and antimicrobial materials, sanitization chemicals and powder, laundering, ultraviolet, ozone, nonthermal plasma, microwave radiation, essential oils, and natural plant extracts. In the management of onychomycosis, it is necessary to think beyond treatment of the nail, as infections enter through the skin. Those prone to onychomycosis should examine their environment, including surfaces, shoes, and socks, and ensure that proper sanitization is implemented.
Current recommendations for the prevention of foot ulceration and amputation include screening at-risk individuals by testing for loss of protective sensation at eight sites using 10-g (5.07) nylon monofilaments. Yet measurement of the cutaneous pressure threshold to differentiate one-point from two-point static touch stimuli may allow identification of these at-risk individuals earlier in the clinical course of diabetic neuropathy. The present study tested this hypothesis using a prospective, cross-sectional, multicenter design that included sensibility testing of 496 patients with diabetic neuropathy, 17 of whom had a history of ulceration or amputation. Considering the cutaneous pressure threshold of the 5.07 Semmes-Weinstein nylon monofilament to be equivalent to the 95 g/mm2 one-point static touch measured using the Pressure-Specified Sensory Device (Sensory Management Services LLC, Baltimore, Maryland), only 3 of these 17 patients with a history of foot ulceration or amputation would have been identified using the Semmes-Weinstein nylon monofilament screening technique. In contrast, using the Pressure-Specified Sensory Device, all 17 patients were identified as having abnormal sensibility, defined as greater than the 99% confidence limit for age, for two-point static touch on the hallux pulp. We conclude that patients at risk for foot ulceration can best be identified by actual measurement of the cutaneous sensibility of the hallux pulp. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(5): 469–474, 2005)