Footwear interventions, including shoe insoles and foot orthoses, have the capacity to enhance balance control and gait in older people. This review assessed the evidence for the effect of footwear interventions on static and dynamic balance performance and gait in older populations and explored proposed theories for underlying sensorimotor and mechanical mechanisms. We searched the Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL (the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), and AMED databases and conducted hand searches. Of 115 relevant articles screened, 14 met the predefined inclusion criteria. Articles were grouped into one of three categories based on balance task (static balance performance during quiet standing, dynamic balance performance during walking, and dynamic balance performance during perturbed standing or functional tasks) and were scored for methodological quality using the Downs and Black Quality Index tool. Footwear interventions seem to alter underlying strategies controlling static and dynamic movement patterns through a combination of sensorimotor and mechanical mechanisms in older people, including those with chronic sensory and musculoskeletal conditions. Evidence shows a consistent trend toward footwear interventions markedly improving lateral stability measures, which are predictors of falls in the elderly. In-depth investigation of neurophysiologic responses to footwear interventions is necessary to help confirm any sensorimotor adaptations. The long-term effects of footwear interventions on balance, gait, and the prevention of falls in older people require further investigation. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(6): 516–533, 2013)
Clinical recommendations for the prevention and healing of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are somewhat clear. However, assessment and quantification of the mechanical stress responsible for DFU remain complex. Different pressure variables have been described in the literature to better understand plantar tissue stress exposure. This article reviews the role of pressure and shear forces in the pathogenesis of plantar DFU.
We performed systematic searches of the PubMed and Embase databases, completed by a manual search of the selected studies. From 535 potentially relevant references, 70 studies were included in the full-text review.
Variables of plantar mechanical stress relate to vertical pressure, shear stress, and temporality of loading. At this time, in-shoe peak plantar pressure (PPP) is the only reliable variable that can be used to prevent DFU. Although it is a poor predictor of in-shoe PPP, barefoot PPP seems complementary and may be more suitable when evaluating patients with diabetes mellitus and peripheral neuropathy who seem noncompliant with footwear. An in-shoe PPP threshold value of 200 kPa has been suggested to prevent DFU. Other variables, such as peak pressure gradient and peak maximal subsurface shear stress and its depth, seem to be of additional utility.
To better assess the at-risk foot and to prevent ulceration, the practitioner should integrate quantitative models of dynamic foot plantar pressures, such as in-shoe and barefoot PPPs, with the regular clinical screening examination. Prospective studies are needed to evaluate causality between other variables of mechanical stress and DFUs. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(4): 322–332, 2013)
People suffering from diabetes are at risk of developing foot ulcerations which, if left untreated, could also lead to amputation. Monitoring of the foot temperature can help in the prevention of these foot complications, and various studies have shown that elevated temperatures may be indicative of ulceration. Over the years, there have been various devices that were designed for foot temperature monitoring, for both clinical and home use. The technologies used included infrared thermometry, liquid crystal thermography, infrared thermography, and a vast range of analogue and digital temperature sensors incorporated into different measurement platforms. All these systems are able to collect thermal data from the foot, with some being able to acquire data only when the foot is stationary and others being able to acquire data from the foot in motion, which can give more in-depth insight into any emerging problems. The aim of this review is to evaluate the available literature related to the technologies used in these systems, outlining the benefits of each and what further developments may be required to make the foot temperature analysis more effective.
Joint hypermobility is a connective tissue disorder that increases joint range of motion. Plantar pressure and foot loading patterns may change with joint hypermobility. We aimed to analyze static plantar pressure in young females with and without joint hypermobility.
Joint laxity in 27 young females was assessed cross sectionally using the Beighton and Horan Joint Mobility Index. Participants were divided into the hypermobility (score, 4–9) and no hypermobility (score, 0–3) groups according to their scores. Static plantar pressure and forces were recorded using a pedobarographic mat system.
Higher peak pressures (P = .01) and peak pressure gradients (P = .025) were observed in the nondominant foot in the hypermobility group. According to the comparison of dominant and nondominant feet in each group, the hypermobility group showed significantly higher peak pressures (P = .046), peak pressure gradients (P = .041), and total force values (P = .028) in the nondominant foot.
The plantar pressure and loading patterns vary in young females with joint hypermobility. Evaluation of plantar loading as an injury prevention tool in individuals with joint hypermobility syndrome can be suggested.
Background: Chronic nonhealing pressure ulcers of the heel in nursing homes are frequent occurrences among bedridden patients with lower-extremity contractures of varying degrees of severity. Conservative local wound care for these patients can be time consuming, ineffective, costly, and may only delay an eventual major leg amputation. This study evaluates the efficacy of limb salvage surgical procedures, partial calcanectomy, total calcanectomy, and excision of the entire calcaneus and talus, for heel ulcers.
Methods: We performed a retrospective review of 57 nursing home residents who had chronic infected nonhealing pressure ulcers of the heel that we had treated over 12 years. Forty-three patients underwent partial calcanectomy, nine underwent total calcanectomy, and five underwent excision of the entire calcaneus and talus. Average postoperative follow-up was 15 months. Also included in this study are representative surgical cases.
Results: Forty-three patients completed follow-up. Complete healing occurred in 25 patients (58%). Failure to resolve the heel ulcer owing to persistent infection, or recurrence was seen in 18 patients (42%) who eventually had a below-the-knee or above-the-knee amputation. All of the patients with heel pressure ulcers were found to have lower-extremity contractures.
Conclusions: In the nonambulatory contracted patient with a heel ulcer, partial or total calcanectomy or excision of the entire calcaneus and talus offer a viable alternative not only for resolution of infection but also for prevention of limb loss. An aggressive plan must also be instituted to address the lower-extremity contractures in order to prevent recurrence. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 167–175, 2011)
Background: Medial tibial stress syndrome is a common overuse injury in weightbearing, physically active individuals and in athletes. Most research associated with this condition is primarily based on static foot and lower-extremity measurements.
Methods: A cross-sectional design was used to assess a set of static and dynamic measurements to determine which anatomical factors (limb length, ankle dorsiflexion, first metatarsophalangeal joint extension, and arch height) and biomechanical factors (center-of-pressure excursion index, malleolar valgus index, and gait velocity) are associated with medial tibial stress syndrome.
Results: One-way analysis of variance models revealed that participants with medial tibial stress syndrome had significantly greater visual analog pain levels and slower gait velocity than noninjured controls (P = .05). No other significant differences were found between the two groups.
Conclusions: Further investigation of these and other factors can help health professionals develop better strategies for the prevention and clinical intervention of medial tibial stress syndrome. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(2): 121–132, 2010)
Background: Because value-based care is critical to the Affordable Care Act success, we forecasted inpatient costs and the potential impact of podiatric medical care on savings in the diabetic population through improved care quality and decreased resource use during implementation of the health reform initiatives in California.
Methods: We forecasted enrollment of diabetic adults into Medicaid and subsidized health benefit exchange programs using the California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM) base model. Amputations and admissions per 1,000 diabetic patients and inpatient costs were based on the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development 2009-2011 inpatient discharge files. We evaluated cost in three categories: uncomplicated admissions, amputations during admissions, and discharges to a skilled nursing facility. Total costs and projected savings were calculated by applying the metrics and cost to the projected enrollment.
Results: Diabetic patients accounted for 6.6% of those newly eligible for Medicaid or health benefit exchange subsidies, with a 60.8% take-up rate. We project costs to be $24.2 million in the diabetic take-up population from 2014 to 2019. Inpatient costs were 94.3% higher when amputations occurred during the admission and 46.7% higher when discharged to a skilled nursing facility. Meanwhile, 61.0% of costs were attributed to uncomplicated admissions. Podiatric medical services saved 4.1% with a 10% reduction in admissions and amputations and an additional 1% for every 10% improvement in access to podiatric medical care.
Conclusions: When implementing the Affordable Care Act, inclusion of podiatric medical services on multidisciplinary teams and in chronic-care models featuring prevention helps shift care to ambulatory settings to realize the greatest cost savings.
Throughout our medical training, we are taught how to manage patients who present with symptoms: perform a clinical examination, make a diagnosis, and develop a management plan. However, virtually no time is spent on teaching us how to manage patients who have no symptoms because they have lost the ability to feel pain, that is, patients with peripheral neuropathy. The lifetime incidence of foot ulceration in people with diabetes has been estimated to be as high as 25%, and a variety of contributory factors result in a foot being at risk for ulceration. Most important among these factors is peripheral neuropathy, or the loss of the ability to feel pain, temperature, or pressure sensation in the feet and lower legs. Up to 50% of older type 2 diabetic patients have evidence of sensory loss, putting them at risk for foot ulceration. If we are to succeed in reducing the high incidence of foot ulcers, regular screening for peripheral neuropathy is vital in all patients with diabetes. Those found to have any risk factors for foot ulceration require special education and more frequent review, particularly by podiatric physicians. The key message is, therefore, that neuropathic symptoms correlate poorly with sensory loss and that their absence must never be equated with lack of risk of foot ulceration. If we are to succeed in reducing the high incidence of foot ulceration and particularly recurrent ulceration, we must realize that with loss of pain there is also diminished motivation in the healing and prevention of injury. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 349–352, 2010)
We surveyed the podiatric medicine professional and academic leadership concerning podiatric medicine professionals as disaster surge responders.
All US podiatric medical school deans and state society presidents were mailed a self-administered structured questionnaire. The leaders were asked to complete the questionnaire and return it by mail; two repeated mailings were made. Descriptive statistics were produced, and differences between deans and society presidents were tested by the Fisher exact test.
The response rate was 100% for the deans and 53% for the society presidents. All of the respondents agreed that podiatric physicians have skills applicable to catastrophe response, are ethically obligated to help, and should receive additional training in catastrophe response. Deans and society presidents agreed with the statements that podiatric physicians should provide basic first aid and place sutures, obtain medical histories, and assist with maintaining infection control. With one exception, all of the society presidents and deans agreed that with additional training, podiatric physicians could interpret radiographs, start intravenous lines, conduct mass casualty triage, manage a point of distribution, prescribe medications, and provide counseling to the worried well. There was variability in responses across the sources for training.
These findings suggest that deliberations regarding academic competencies at the podiatric medical school level and continuing education should be conducted by the profession for a surge response role, including prevention, response, mitigation, and recovery activities. After coordination and integration with response agencies, podiatric medicine has a role in strengthening the nation’s catastrophic event surge response. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(1): 87–93, 2013)
Google Trends proves to be a novel tool to ascertain the level of public interest in pathology and treatments. From anticipating nascent epidemics with data-driven prevention campaigns to identifying interest in cosmetic or bariatric surgery, Google Trends provides physicians real-time insight into the latest consumer trends.
We used Google Trends to identify temporal trends and variation in the search volume index of four groups of keywords that assessed practitioner-nomenclature inquiries, in addition to podiatric-specific searches for pain, traumatic injury, and common podiatric pathology over a 10-year period. The Mann-Kendall trend test was used to determine a trend in the series, and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to determine whether there was a significant difference between summer and winter season inquiries. Significance was set at P ≤ .05.
The terms “podiatrist” and “foot doctor” experienced increasing Search Volume Index (SVI) and seasonal variation, whereas the terms “foot surgeon” and “podiatric surgeon” experienced no such increase. “Foot pain,” “heel pain,” “toe pain,” and “ankle pain” experienced a significant increase in SVI, with “foot pain” maintaining the highest SVI at all times. Similar results were seen with the terms “foot fractures,” “bunion,” “ingrown toenail,” and “heel spur.” These terms all experienced statistically significant increasing trends; moreover, the SVI was significantly higher in the summer than in the winter for each of these terms.
The results of this study show the utility in illustrating seasonal variation in Internet interest of pathologies today's podiatrist commonly encounters. By identifying the popularity and seasonal variation of practitioner- and pathology-specific search inquiries, resources can be allocated to effectively address current public inquiries. With this knowledge, providers can learn what podiatric-specific interests are trending in their local communities and market their practice accordingly throughout the year.