Severely comminuted fractures of the metatarsal bones with significant bone and soft-tissue loss have commonly subjected patients to proximal amputation procedures. We describe two patients who experienced high-energy traumatic injuries to their limbs that resulted in significant destruction of their first and second metatarsal bones with overlying soft-tissue trauma not amenable to local coverage. In both cases, a vascularized free fibular osteocutaneous flap was used to reconstruct the metatarsal bone defect and traumatized soft tissues so that a proximal amputation was avoided. At an average of 14 months of follow-up, both patients had recovered well and regained independent ambulation, with one patient being able to play soccer. We show that the free fibular osteoseptocutaneous flap is useful in reconstructing significant metatarsal bone defects and in avoiding amputations in this patient population. The skin component of the flap may be used to fill soft-tissue losses, and the fibula bone may be osteotomized so that more than one ray may be reconstructed. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(6): 531–536, 2011)
The deep plantar (D-PL) artery originates from the dorsalis pedis artery in the proximal first intermetatarsal space, an area where many procedures are performed to address deformity, traumatic injury, and infection. The potential risk of injury to the D-PL artery is concerning. The D-PL artery provides vascular contribution to the base of the first metatarsal and forms the D-PL arterial arch with the lateral plantar artery.
In an effort to improve our understanding of the positional relationship of the D-PL artery to the first metatarsal, dissections were performed on 43 embalmed cadaver feet to measure the location of the D-PL artery with respect to the base of the first metatarsal. Digital images of the dissected specimens were acquired and saved for measurement using in-house software. Means, standard deviations, and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for all of the measurement parameters.
We found that the origin of the D-PL artery was located at a mean ± SD of 11.5 ± 3.9 mm (95% CI, 4.5–24.7 mm) distal to the first metatarsal base and 18.6% ± 6.5% (95% CI, 8.1%–43.4%) of length in reference to the proximal base. The average interrater reliability across all of the measurements was 0.945.
This study helps clarify the anatomical location of the D-PL artery by providing parameters to aid the surgeon when performing procedures in the proximal first intermetatarsal space. Care must be taken when performing procedures in the region to avoid unintended vascular injury to the D-PL artery.
We sought to assess, in a case-control model, the potential efficacy of maggot debridement therapy in 60 nonambulatory patients (mean ± SD age, 72.2 ± 6.8 years) with neuroischemic diabetic foot wounds (University of Texas grade C or D wounds below the malleoli) and peripheral vascular disease. Twenty-seven of these patients (45%) healed during 6 months of review. There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients healing in the maggot debridement therapy versus control group (57% versus 33%). Of patients who healed, time to healing was significantly shorter in the maggot therapy than in the control group (18.5 ± 4.8 versus 22.4 ± 4.4 weeks). Approximately one in five patients (22%) underwent a high-level (above-the-foot) amputation. Patients in the control group were three times as likely to undergo amputation (33% versus 10%). Although there was no significant difference in infection prevalence in patients undergoing maggot therapy versus controls (80% versus 60%), there were significantly more antibiotic-free days during follow-up in patients who received maggot therapy (126.8 ± 30.3 versus 81.9 ± 42.1 days). Maggot debridement therapy reduces short-term morbidity in nonambulatory patients with diabetic foot wounds. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(3): 254–257, 2005)
Below-the-knee amputation (BKA) can be a detrimental outcome of diabetic foot osteomyelitis (DFO). Ideal treatment of DFO is controversial, but studies suggest minor amputation reduces the risk of BKA. We evaluated risk factors for BKA after minor amputation for DFO.
This is a retrospective cohort of patients discharged from Denver Health Medical Center from February 1, 2012, through December 31, 2014. Patients who underwent minor amputation for diagnosis of DFO were eligible for inclusion. The outcome evaluated was BKA in the 6 months after minor amputation.
Of 153 episodes with DFO that met the study criteria, 11 (7%) had BKA. Failure to heal surgical incision at 3 months (P < .001) and transmetatarsal amputation (P = .009) were associated with BKA in the 6 months after minor amputation. Peripheral vascular disease was associated with failure to heal but not with BKA (P = .009). Severe infection, bacteremia, hemoglobin A1c, and positive histopathologic margins of bone and soft tissue were not associated with BKA. The median antibiotic duration was 42 days for positive histopathologic bone resection margin (interquartile range, 32–47 days) and 16 days for negative margin (interquartile range, 8–29 days). Longer duration of antibiotics was not associated with lower risk of BKA.
Patients who fail to heal amputation sites in 3 months or who have transmetatarsal amputation are at increased risk for BKA. Future studies should evaluate the impact of aggressive wound care or whether failure to heal is a marker of another variable.
Antiphospholipid syndrome is an autoimmune disease characterized by vascular thrombosis involving both the arterial and venous systems that can lead to tissue ischemia or end-organ damage. Much of the literature describes various symptoms at initial presentation, but isolated tissue ischemia manifesting as a solitary blue toe is unusual. We discuss a case of a 23-year-old man who presented to the emergency department with a solitary blue fourth digit with minimal erythema and edema, who was suffering from exquisite pain. Following an extensive workup, the patient was diagnosed with antiphospholipid syndrome with thrombi of the vasculature in their lower extremity. With therapeutic anticoagulation, the patient's symptoms subsided and amputation of the digit was prevented.
Verrucae are small, benign, highly vascular epithelial neoplasms that occur singly or in a multiple presentation. Plantar verrucae are usually caused by infection with human papillomavirus types 1, 2, and 4. A clinical trial was conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of monochloroacetic acid and 10% formaldehyde versus 10% formaldehyde alone in the treatment of simple plantar verrucae. Of 57 patients enrolled in the study, 26 were in the monochloroacetic acid and 10% formaldehyde group and 31 were in the 10% formaldehyde alone group. The overall cure rate for this population was 61.4%. There was no statistically significant difference in the cure rate between treatment groups. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(1): 53–58, 2006)
Acquired constriction ring syndrome is a clinical condition of infancy characterized by circumferential constriction of a toe or another appendage, such as fingers and genitalia. The foot and ankle specialist should be aware of this condition because vascular obstruction of the affected appendage can rapidly lead to gangrene and autoamputation. Treatment consists of prompt identification and removal of the constricting foreign material. Although this condition is uncommon, it can lead to digital loss. Early treatment yields a good prognosis. A case report is presented of a 9-week-old infant who experienced acquired constriction ring syndrome caused by a strand of hair wrapped around the third and fourth toes that was treated by unwinding the hair under loupe magnification. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 96(3): 253–255, 2006)
Acute arterial occlusion may be caused by an embolus, thrombosis, or trauma. Vascular diseases can involve complications not limited to vascular-related areas and may require a multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment. An overview of acute arterial occlusion is presented, as well as a case study of an atypical presentation of an arterial embolus of the lower extremity.
Background: Assessing implanted biological reinforcement graft success in soft-tissue repairs is typically limited to noninvasive measurements and functional outcome measures. However, there are times when a histologic snapshot of the graft incorporation may be possible owing to a nongraft-related postoperative complication, such as hardware failure.
Methods: We histologically evaluated a 6-month biopsy sample from an Achilles tendon repair augmented with an acellular human dermal matrix (AHDM). A 57-year-old woman was treated for Haglund’s deformity of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon was fixed to the calcaneus using a plate, and an AHDM was used to augment the primary repair of the tendon. At 6 months, the hardware was removed owing to prominence, and a biopsy of the AHDM was performed. The specimen was prepared and stained using hematoxylin and eosin, Verhoeff-van Gieson, Movat’s pentachrome, and toluidine blue stains.
Results: Visually, the graft appeared normal and incorporated with the native tendon. No repeated tear was observed, and results of tests for infection were negative. Histologically, the graft was infiltrated predominantly with fibroblasts and demonstrated numerous blood vessels. Positive proteoglycan staining in the AHDM and at sites of vascularity indicated probable transformation to tendon-like tissue.
Conclusions: These histologic findings suggest that the AHDM is highly biocompatible, supports revascularization and repopulation with noninflammatory host cells, and becomes incorporated by surrounding tendon tissue. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(2): 104–107, 2009)
Elevated plantar pressures are an important predictor of diabetic foot ulceration. The objective of this study was to determine which clinical examination variables predict high plantar pressures in diabetic feet. In a cross-sectional study of 152 male veterans with diabetes mellitus, data were collected on demographics, comorbid conditions, disease severity, neuropathy status, vascular disease, and orthopedic and gait examinations. Univariate predictors included height, weight, body surface area, body weight per square inch of foot surface area, bunion deformity, hammer toe, Romberg’s sign, insensitivity to monofilament, absent joint position sense, decreased ankle dorsiflexion, and fat pad atrophy. Variables that remained significantly associated with high plantar pressures (≥4 kg/cm2) in multivariate analysis included height, body weight per square inch of foot surface area, Romberg’s sign, and insensitivity to monofilament. These results may be useful in identifying patients who would benefit from interventions designed to decrease plantar foot pressures. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(5): 367-372, 2003)