Background: The objective of this investigation was to evaluate adverse short-term outcomes following partial forefoot amputation with a specific comparison performed based on subject height.
Methods: The American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database was analyzed to select those subjects with a 28805 CPT code (amputation, foot; transmetatarsal) that underwent the procedure with “all layers of incision (deep and superficial) fully closed.” This resulted in 11 subjects with a height ≤60 inches, 202 subjects with a height >60 inches and <72 inches, and 55 subjects ≥72 inches.
Results: Results of the primary outcome measures found no significant differences between groups with respect to the development of a superficial surgical site infection (0.0% vs. 6.4% vs. 5.5%; p=0.669), deep incisional infection (9.1% vs. 3.5% vs. 10.9%; p=0.076), or wound disruption (0.0% vs. 5.4% vs. 5.5%; p=0.730). Additionally, no significant differences were observed between groups with respect to unplanned reoperations (9.1% vs. 16.8% vs. 12.7%; p=0.0630) or unplanned hospital readmissions (45.5% vs. 23.3% vs. 20.0%; p=0.190).
Conclusions: The results of this investigation demonstrate no difference in short-term adverse outcomes following the performance of partial forefoot amputation with primary closure based on subject height. Although height has previously been described as a potential risk factor in the development of lower extremity pathogenesis, this finding was not observed in this study from a large US database.
We reviewed the hospital course of 77 diabetic and 69 nondiabetic subjects who had incision, drainage, and exploration of infected puncture wounds of the foot. Diabetics were 5 times more likely to have multiple operations and 46 times more likely to have a lower extremity amputation than nondiabetics. The interval from injury to surgery was significantly longer in diabetics than nondiabetics. Total lymphocyte count and hemoglobin, hematocrit, and albumin values were significantly lower in diabetics than in nondiabetics. Diabetic amputees had higher prevalences of nonpalpable pulses, nephropathy, neuropathy, and osteomyelitia as compared with diabetic nonamputees. The neuropathic diabetic foot is not protected by pain. When combined with other comorbid factors, this may increase morbidity associated with puncture wounds of the foot.
The COVID-19 pandemic is driving significant change in the healthcare system and disrupting the best practices for diabetic limb preservation, leaving large numbers of patients without care. Patients with diabetes and foot ulcers are at increased risk for infections, hospitalization, amputations, and death. Podiatric care is associated with fewer diabetes-related amputations, ER visits, hospitalizations, length-of-stay, and costs. But podiatrists must mobilize and adopt the new paradigm of shifts away from hospital care to community-based care. Implementing the proposed Pandemic Diabetic Foot Triage System, in-home visits, higher acuity office visits, telemedicine, and remote patient monitoring can help podiatrists manage patients while reducing the COVID-19 risk. The goal of podiatrists during the pandemic is to reduce the burden on the healthcare system by keeping diabetic foot and wound patients safe, functional, and at home.
High plantar pressures contribute to skin breakdown in patients with diabetes mellitus and peripheral neuropathy. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the point during the stance phase of walking that corresponds with forefoot peak plantar pressures. Results indicate that peak plantar pressures occurred at 80% +/- 5% of the stance phase of gait in subjects with diabetes and transmetatarsal amputation, as well as in control subjects. Improved methods of footwear design or walking strategies proposed to patients should focus on the demands of the foot during the late stance phase of walking in order to increase available weightbearing area or to decrease forces, which will minimize plantar pressures and reduce trauma to the neuropathic foot.
Reconstruction of large bone defects of the metatarsals, whether resulting from trauma, infection, or a neoplastic process, can be especially challenging when attempting to maintain an anatomical parabola and basic biomechanical stability of the forefoot. We present the case of a 42-year-old man with no significant medical history who presented to the emergency department following a severe lawnmower injury to the left forefoot resulting in a large degloving type injury along the medial aspect of the left first ray extending to the level of the medial malleolus. The patient underwent emergent debridement with application of antibiotic bone cement, external fixation, and a negative-pressure dressing. He was subsequently treated with split-thickness skin graft and iliac crest tricortical autograft using a locking plate construct for reconstruction of the distal first ray. Although the patient failed to advance to radiographic osseous union, clinically there was no motion at the attempted fusion site and no pain with ambulation, suggestive of a pseudoarthrosis. The patient has since progressed to full nonpainful weightbearing in regular shoes and has returned to normal activities of daily living. The patient returned to his preinjury level of work and has had complete resolution of all wounds including his split-thickness skin graft donor site. This case shows the potential efficacy of the Masquelet technique for spanning significant traumatic bone defects of the metatarsals involving complete loss of the metatarsophalangeal joint.