Patients with chronic diabetes have a broad spectrum of associated peripheral neurologic deficits that culminate in an increased susceptibility to ulcer formation. The authors focus on the use of the ankle-foot orthosis as both a treatment and a definitive solution for achieving ulcer closure and for minimizing the chance of ulcer recurrence in the ambulatory patient. An analysis of the pathologic forces encountered, and the solution achieved with the ankle-foot orthosis is presented. In addition, the results from a clinical pilot study in subjects with recalcitrant ulcers secondary to Charcot's neuroarthropathy are presented.
Background: Along with significant case transmission, hospitalizations, and mortality experienced during the global Sars-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, there existed a disruption in the delivery of health care across multiple specialties. We studied the effect of the pandemic on inpatients with diabetic foot problems in a level-one trauma center in Central Ohio. Methods: A retrospective chart review of patients necessitating a consultation by the foot and ankle surgery service were reviewed from the first 8 months of 2020. A total of 270 patients met the inclusion criteria and divided into pre-pandemic (n = 120) and pandemic groups (n = 150). Demographics, medical history, severity of current infection, and medical or surgical management were collected and analyzed.Results: The odds of undergoing any level of amputation was 10.8 times higher during the pandemic versus before the pandemic. The risk of major amputations (below-the-knee or higher) likewise increased with an odds ratio of 12.5 among all patients in the foot and ankle service during the pandemic. Of the patients undergoing any amputation, the odds for receiving a major amputation was 3.1 times higher than before the pandemic. Additionally, the severity of infections increased during the pandemic and a larger proportion of the cases were classified as emergent in the pandemic group compared to the pre-pandemic group.Conclusions: The effect of the pandemic on the health-care system has had a deleterious effect on people with diabetes-related foot problems resulting in more severe infections, more emergencies, and necessitating more amputations. When an amputation was performed, the likelihood it was a major amputation also increased.Editor's Note: This Original Article accompanies "Diabetes-Related Amputations: A Pandemic within a Pandemic," by Lee C. Rogers, DPM, Robert J. Snyder, DPM, and Warren S. Joseph, DPM, FIDSA, available at https://doi.org/10.7547/20-248
Use of nerve decompression in diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy is a controversial treatment characterized as being of unknown scientific effectiveness owing to lack of level I scientific studies.
Herein, long-term follow-up data have been assembled on 65 diabetic patients with 75 legs having previous neuropathic foot ulcer and subsequent operative decompression of the common peroneal and tibial nerve branches in the anatomical fibro-osseous tunnels.
The cohort’s previously reported low recurrence risk of less than 5% annually at a mean of 2.49 years of follow-up has persisted for an additional 3 years, and cumulative risk is now 2.6% per patient-year. Nine of 75 operated legs (12%) have developed an ulcer in 4,218 months (351 patient-years) of follow-up. Of the 53 contralateral legs without decompression, 16 (30%) have ulcerated, of which three have undergone an amputation. Fifty-nine percent of patients are known to be alive with intact feet a mean of 60 months after decompression.
The prospective, objective, statistically significant finding of a large, long-term diminution of diabetic foot ulcer recurrence risk after operative nerve decompression compares very favorably with the historical literature and the contralateral legs of this cohort, which had no decompression. This finding invites prospective randomized controlled studies for validation testing and reconsideration of the frequency and contribution of unrecognized nerve entrapments in diabetic sensorimotor polyneuropathy and diabetic foot complications. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(5): 380–386, 2013)
Foot self-care is key in preventing morbidity in high-risk diabetic patients. Motivational interviewing (MI) is an approach to encourage behavior change by patients that can be used in medical settings. The goal was to explore how podiatric physicians promote self-care in such patients and whether they use MI techniques.
We conducted a 19-question online survey of US-based practicing podiatric physicians. Most answers were on a 5-point scale. The MI index was the sum of answers to five relevant questions.
Of 843 podiatric physicians, 86% considered foot self-care to be very important for high-risk diabetic patients, and 90% felt that it was their role to discuss foot self-care with them; 49% felt that they had training and were successful in promoting behavior change, but most were definitely (38%) or possibly (46%) interested in learning more. Only 24% of respondents scored at least 15 of 20 on the MI index. Higher MI scores were associated with more face time and more time discussing foot self-care but were not related to podiatric physicians' age, sex, geographic location, percentage of time in surgery, or years in practice. Reported barriers to counseling were lack of reimbursed time and poor patient engagement.
Most podiatric physicians view self-care behavior among high-risk diabetic patients and their role in promoting it as very important; most feel already proficient, but only a few demonstrate MI skills; most are willing to learn more. Success in behavioral counseling, such as MI, is likely to require more time and may be encouraged by a move from fee-for-service to outcome-based reimbursement.
Second- and third-degree burns of the toes resulted when a 69-year-old man with Charcot foot and a recent fractured ankle followed the advice of his local podiatrist. The man got his fiberglass cast wet while showering and was told to dry his cast using the low setting on a blow dryer. The following presents a literature review of cast drying, hair dryers, and this unfortunate man’s case. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(3): 243–245, 2013)
Background: The purpose of this retrospective audit was to compare patient based clinical outcomes to amputation healing outcomes twelve months after a minor foot amputation in people with diabetes.
Methods: Hospital admission and community outpatient data were extracted for all minor foot amputations in people with diabetes in 2017 in the Central Coast Local Health District.
Results: A total 85 minor foot amputations involving 74 people were identified. At the twelve-month follow-up 74% (n=56) of the minor foot amputations healed, 63% (n=41) of the participants achieved a good clinical outcome (healed, no more proximal amputations, or death within the 12 month follow up period), and the mortality rate was 18%. Poor clinical outcomes were associated with those aged greater than 60 (RR 5.75, 95% CI: 0.85 to 38.7, p=0.013), those undergoing a further surgical debridement procedure during their hospital stay (RR 2.42, 95% CI: 1.3 to 4.4, p=0.005) and those who did not attend CCLHD Podiatry clinics post-amputation (RR 2.3, 95% CI: 1.2 to 4.1, p=0.010).
Conclusions: To improve patient based clinical outcomes post-minor foot amputation, targeted follow-up in a high-risk foot clinic, and tailored discharge treatment plans for people aged over 60 or those undergoing a debridement procedure may be considered.
The authors determined the effects of active amino acids and dipeptides as anabolic agents on surgically induced wound healing in lower extremity skeletal muscles in diabetic and normal rats. In order to induce diabetes, adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (200 g; 10 to 12 animals per group) were injected with streptozotocin (65 mg/kg) 30 days before the onset of the experiment. Their blood sugars were checked at this time. Each group of rats was injected with either one stimulatory amino acid or dipeptide (150 mg/kg body weight) subcutaneously in saline for 7 days and their anabolic effects (RNA, DNA, protein, and collagen contents) on lower extremity skeletal muscle wound healing determined in both diabetic and normal control groups. It is hoped that a treatment regimen will be developed using synergistic anabolic agents locally to decrease the lower extremity muscle healing time. This will enable the diabetic patient to become mobile sooner after surgery.
Background: The objective of this investigation was to evaluate adverse short-term outcomes following open lower extremity bypass surgery in subjects with diabetes mellitus 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 CPT codes 35533, 35540, 35556, 35558, 35565, 35566, 35570 and 35571 and with the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. This resulted in 83 subjects ≤60 inches, 1084 subjects >60 inches and <72 inches, and 211 subjects ≥72 inches.
Results: No differences were observed between groups with respect to the development of a superficial surgical site infection (9.6% vs. vs. 6.4% vs. 5.7%; p=0.458), deep incisional infection (1.2% vs. 1.4% vs. 2.8%; p=0.289), sepsis (2.4% vs. 2.0% vs. 2.8%; p=0.751), unplanned reoperation (19.3% vs. 15.6% vs. 21.8%; p=0.071), nor unplanned hospital readmission (19.3% vs. 14.8% vs. 17.1%; p=0.573). A significant difference was observed between groups with respect to the development of a wound disruption (4.8% vs. 1.3% vs. 4.7%; p=0.001). A multivariate regression analysis was performed of the wound disruption outcome with the age, gender, race, ethnicity, height, weight, current smoker and open wound/wound infection variables. Race (p=0.025) and weight (p=0.003) were found to be independently associated with wound disruption, but height was not (p=0.701).
Conclusions: The results of this investigation demonstrate no significant difference in short-term adverse outcomes following the performance of lower extremity bypass surgery based on patient height.