This historical perspective highlights some of the pioneers, milestones, teams, and system changes that have had a major impact on management of the diabetic foot during the past 100 years. In 1934, American diabetologist Elliott P. Joslin noted that mortality from diabetic coma had fallen from 60% to 5% after the introduction of insulin, yet deaths from diabetic gangrene of the lower extremity had risen significantly. He believed that diabetic gangrene was preventable. His remedy was a team approach that included foot care, diet, exercise, prompt treatment of foot infections, and specialized surgical care.
The history of the team approach to management of the diabetic foot chronicles the rise of a new health profession—podiatric medicine and surgery—and emergence of the specialty of vascular surgery. The partnership among the diabetologist, vascular surgeon, and podiatric surgeon is a natural one. The complementary skills and knowledge of each can improve limb salvage and functional outcomes. Comprehensive multidisciplinary foot-care programs have been shown to increase quality of care and reduce amputation rates by 36% to 86%. Development of distal revascularization techniques to restore pulsatile blood flow to the foot has also been a major advancement.
Patients with diabetic foot complications are among the most complex and vulnerable of all patient populations. Specialized diabetic foot clinics of the 21st century should be multidisciplinary and equipped to coordinate diagnosis, off-loading, and preventive care; to perform revascularization procedures; to aggressively treat infections; and to manage medical comorbidities. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 317–334, 2010)
Midline metatarsal ray deficiencies, which occur in approximately half of congenital short limbs with fibular deficiency, provide the most distal and compelling manifestation of a fluid spectrum of human lower-extremity congenital long bone reductions; this spectrum syndromically affects the long bone triad of the proximal femur, fibula, and midline metatarsals. The bony deficiencies correspond to sites of rapid embryonic arterial transitioning. Long bones first begin to ossify because of vascular invasions of their respective mesenchymal/cartilage anlagen, proceeding in a proximal-to-distal sequence along the forming embryonic limb. A single-axis artery forms initially in the embryonic lower limb by means of vasculogenesis. Additional arteries evolve in overlapping transitional waves, in proximity to the various anlagen, during the sixth and seventh weeks after fertilization. An adult pattern of vessels presents by the eighth week. Arterial alterations, in the form of retained primitive embryonic vessels and/or reduced absent adult vessels, have been observed clinically at the aforementioned locations where skeletal reductions occur. Persistence of primitive vessels in association with the triad of long bone reductions allows a heuristic estimation of the time, place, and nature of such coupled vascular and bony dysgeneses. Arterial dysgenesis is postulated to have occurred when the developing arterial and skeletal structures were concurrently vulnerable to teratogenic insults because of embryonic arterial instability, a risk factor during arterial transition. It is herein hypothesized that flawed arterial transitions subject the prefigured long bone cartilage models of the rapidly growing limb to the risk of teratogenesis at one or more of the then most rapidly growing sites. Midline metatarsal deficiency forms the keystone of this developmental concept of an error of limb development, which occurs as a consequence of failed completion of the medial portion of the plantar arch. Therefore, the historical nomenclature of congenital long bone deficiencies will benefit from modification from a current reliance on empirical physical taxonomies to a developmental foundation.
At the end of an anatomical peninsula, the foot in diabetes is prone to short- and long-term complications involving neuropathy, vasculopathy, and infection. Effective management requires an interdisciplinary effort focusing on this triad. Herein, we describe the key factors leading to foot complications and the critical skill sets required to assemble a team to care for them. Although specific attention is given to a conjoined model involving podiatric medicine and vascular surgery, the so-called toe and flow model, we further outline three separate programmatic models of care—basic, intermediate, and center of excellence—that can be implemented in the developed and developing world. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 342–348, 2010)
Eccrine poroma is a rare benign adnexal neoplasm originating from a portion of the intraepidermal eccrine sweat gland duct and the acrosyringium. Typically, the lesions are asymptomatic, slow-growing nodules, which may be found in any sweat gland–bearing area. Multiple red lacunae, glomerular vessels, hairpin vessels, flower- and leaf-like vascular patterns, a polymorphic vascular pattern, globule/lacunae–like structures, a frog egg–like appearance, and comedo-like openings have been defined as characteristic dermoscopic patterns of the disease. We report a case of eccrine poroma in an unusual periungual and subungual location mimicking ingrown toenails. The dermoscopic findings of the lesions were compatible with those of eccrine poromas located in areas other than the periungual area. Recurrence was observed after the first excisional biopsy. There was no recurrence 10 months after the second surgical intervention, and near-complete regrowth of the nail plate was achieved. Eccrine poroma should be considered as a differential diagnosis in the presence of slow-growing, erythematous, painful, hemorrhagic papular lesions located in the periungual area in conjunction with a prediagnosis of ingrown toenails and malignant processes.
Microvascular dysfunction is an important component of the pathologic processes that occur in diabetic foot disease. The endothelial abnormalities observed in patients with diabetes mellitus are poorly understood, and evidence suggests that endothelial dysfunction could be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic macroangiopathy and microangiopathy. With the advent of insulin replacement in the early 1900s and increased efforts toward metabolic control of diabetes, long-term complications of this disease have become apparent. These late-term complications are primarily disorders of the vascular system. This article reviews the process of microvascular dysfunction and how it may relate to the pathogenesis of diabetic foot problems. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(3): 245–252, 2006)
A prospective epidemiologic survey on the prevalence of foot disease in Hong Kong found foot disease in 64% of patients screened. All of the patients were ethnically Chinese. Of the conditions specified in the questionnaire, fungal foot infection, tinea pedis, and toenail onychomycosis were the most frequently encountered conditions, followed by metatarsal corns, eczema, psoriasis, and pes planus. Vascular disease, osteoarticular pathology, diabetes mellitus, obesity, atopy, and participation in sports were the main factors coexisting with the foot conditions. Of the study population, 17% and 21% reported that their quality of life was affected by pain and discomfort, respectively. These percentages are much lower than those obtained in other studies; it may therefore be inferred that foot complaints are being neglected by the ethnic Chinese population in Hong Kong. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(8): 450-456, 2002)
Pyogenic granulomas are benign vascular tumors characterized histologically by a lobular proliferation of capillaries. We report an unusual presentation of a pyogenic granuloma in an elderly patient with a bleeding red nodule on the plantar surface of the foot. Nodular exophytic plantar foot lesions often present a diagnostic challenge, as the differential diagnosis includes benign and malignant entities ranging from eccrine poroma and pyogenic granuloma to Kaposi's sarcoma and amelanotic melanoma. This case highlights the need for an adequate biopsy technique to confirm the diagnosis and guide management.
Glomus tumors are rare and benign vascular soft-tissue masses commonly found subungually in the foot. A glomus tumor typically manifests with a classic triad of pain, point tenderness, and cold sensitivity. This case report describes an atypical presentation of a glomus tumor in the soft tissue of the rearfoot in a 77-year-old man in the setting of urosepsis. The mass had enlarged progressively for 6 months. Originally misdiagnosed as a hemangioma based on magnetic resonance imaging and clinical appearance, an excisional biopsy was performed. The lesion was subsequently diagnosed histopathologically as a glomus tumor. This article discusses the statistics of glomus tumor and discusses the importance of the need to recognize the symptoms and clinical findings of both typical and atypical presentation of this abnormality in differentiation and differential treatment and risk management of benign and malignant soft-tissue masses.
A 42-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with progressive painful discoloration of the digits of her right foot and symptoms previously diagnosed as neuroma. She was admitted to the hospital for dorsalis pedis arterial occlusion and ischemic foot pain. Despite attempts to restore perfusion to the right leg, ischemia of the right foot persisted and progressed to digital gangrene. The patient subsequently required right transmetatarsal amputation and eventually below-the-knee amputation. After extensive inpatient vascular and hematologic work-up of this otherwise healthy woman, test results revealed that she had protein S deficiency, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus type 1. In addition to describing this patient’s evaluation and treatment, we review protein S deficiency, including its correlation with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection and laboratory diagnosis. This case promotes awareness of protein S deficiency and serves as a reminder to the physician treating patients with vascular compromise and a history of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 to include protein S deficiency in the differential diagnosis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(2): 151–155, 2007)
Lymphangioma-like Kaposi's sarcoma (LLKS) is a rare histologic variant of KS. Kaposi's sarcoma is also known as human herpesvirus type 8. The clinical presentation of the LLKS lesion is highly unusual and similar to that of classic KS but with multinodular vascular tumors and lymphedema. We present a 63-year-old native Haitian man with multiple slowly progressive exophytic ulcerated lesions covering more than 60% of his left lower extremity with no systemic involvement. Much confusion surrounded the clinical presentation of these wounds, and we postulated several differential diagnoses. Herein we describe the evaluation, clinical appearance, and progression of LLKS. Due to the rarity of LLKS, treating physicians need to be aware of the clinical presentation and diagnostic criteria of this variant. Despite being incurable, early diagnosis of LLKS can lead to long-term treatment options and a major reduction in symptoms.