Toe pressures and the toe brachial index (TBI) represent possible screening tools for peripheral arterial disease; however, limited evidence is available regarding their reliability. The aim of this study was to determine intratester and intertester reliability of toe systolic pressure and the TBI in participants with and without diabetes performed by podiatric physicians.
Two podiatric physicians performed toe and brachial pressure measurements on 80 participants, 40 with and 40 without diabetes, during two testing sessions using photoplethysmography and Doppler probe. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and 95% limits of agreement were determined.
In people with diabetes, intratester reliability of toe pressure measurement was excellent for both testers (ICCs, 0.84 and 0.82). Reliability of the TBI was good (ICCs, 0.72 and 0.75) and brachial pressure fair (ICCs, 0.43 and 0.55). The intertester reliability of toe pressure (ICC, 0.82) and the TBI (ICC, 0.80) was excellent. Intertester reliability of brachial pressure was reduced in people with diabetes (ICC, 0.49). In age-matched participants, intratester reliability of toe pressure measurement was excellent for both testers (ICCs, 0.83 and 0.87), and reliability of the TBI (ICCs, 0.74 and 0.80) and brachial pressure (ICCs, 0.73 and 0.78) was good to excellent. Intertester reliability of toe pressure (ICC, 0.84), the TBI (ICC, 0.81), and brachial pressure (ICC, 0.77) was excellent.
Toe pressures and the TBI demonstrated excellent reliability in people with and without diabetes and can be an effective component of lower-extremity vascular screening. However, wide limits of agreement relative to blood pressure values for both cohorts indicate that results should be interpreted with caution.
Background: Diabetic lower-extremity disease is the primary driver of mortality in patients with diabetes. Amputations at the forefoot or ankle preserve limb length, increase function, and, ultimately, reduce deconditioning and mortality compared with higher-level amputations, such as below-the-knee amputations (BKAs). We sought to identify risk factors associated with amputation level to understand barriers to length-preserving amputations (LPAs).
Methods: Diabetic lower-extremity admissions were extracted from the 2012-2014 National Inpatient Survey using ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes. The main outcome was a two-level variable consisting of LPAs (transmetatarsal, Syme, and Chopart) versus BKAs. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine contributions of patient- and hospital-level factors to likelihood of undergoing LPA versus BKA.
Results: The study cohort represented 110,355 admissions nationally: 42,375 LPAs and 67,980 BKAs. The population was predominantly white (56.85%), older than 50 years (82.55%), and male (70.38%). On multivariate analysis, living in an urban area (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 1.48; P < .0001) and having vascular intervention in the same hospital stay (RRR = 2.96; P < .0001) were predictive of LPA. Patients from rural locations but treated in urban centers were more likely to receive BKA. Minorities were more likely to present with severe disease, limiting delivery of LPAs. A high Elixhauser comorbidity score was related to BKA receipt.
Conclusions: This study identifies delivery biases in amputation level for patients without access to large, urban hospitals. Rural patients seeking care in these centers are more likely to receive higher-level amputations. Further examination is required to determine whether earlier referral to multidisciplinary centers is more effective at reducing BKA rates versus satellite centers in rural localities.
Diabetic foot disease frequently leads to substantial long-term complications, imposing a huge socioeconomic burden on available resources and health-care systems. Peripheral neuropathy, repetitive trauma, and peripheral vascular disease are common underlying pathways that lead to skin breakdown, often setting the stage for limb-threatening infection. Individuals with diabetes presenting with foot infection warrant optimal surgical management to affect limb salvage and prevent amputation; aggressive short-term and meticulous long-term care plans are required. In addition, the initial surgical intervention or series of interventions must be coupled with appropriate systemic metabolic management as part of an integrated, multidisciplinary team. Such teams typically include multiple medical, surgical, and nursing specialties across a variety of public and private health-care systems. This article presents a stepwise approach to the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic foot infections with emphasis on the appropriate use of surgical interventions and includes the following key elements: incision, wound investigation, debridement, wound irrigation and lavage, and definitive wound closure. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 401–405, 2010)
This study sought to demonstrate the prevalence of foot conditions in older individuals and their association with chronic risk diseases such as diabetes mellitus, peripheral arterial disease, and arthritis, and to develop care plans to reduce complications from local foot problems and chronic diseases. One thousand individuals older than 65 years who were ambulatory and not institutionalized underwent a standardized and validated podogeriatric examination assessment protocol or index. Overall, 74.6% of all patients had a history of pain, 57.2% were receiving current care for diabetes mellitus, 22.9% indicated current care for peripheral vascular disease, 94.2% had onychodystrophy, 64.2% had one or more foot deformities, 64.0% demonstrated some loss of protective sensation, and 81.7% had one or more symptoms and signs of peripheral arterial insufficiency. These findings demonstrate that foot problems in the older population result from disease, disability, and deformity related to multiple chronic diseases as well as changes associated with repetitive use and trauma. Older people are at a high risk of developing foot-related disease and should receive continuing foot assessment, education, surveillance, and care. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(3): 293–304, 2004)
Background: This literature review was undertaken to evaluate the reliability and validity of the orthopedic, neurologic, and vascular examination of the foot and ankle.
Methods: We searched PubMed—the US National Library of Medicine’s database of biomedical citations—and abstracts for relevant publications from 1966 to 2006. We also searched the bibliographies of the retrieved articles. We identified 35 articles to review. For discussion purposes, we used reliability interpretation guidelines proposed by others. For the κ statistic that calculates reliability for dichotomous (eg, yes or no) measures, reliability was defined as moderate (0.4–0.6), substantial (0.6–0.8), and outstanding (> 0.8). For the intraclass correlation coefficient that calculates reliability for continuous (eg, degrees of motion) measures, reliability was defined as good (> 0.75), moderate (0.5–0.75), and poor (< 0.5).
Results: Intraclass correlations, based on the various examinations performed, varied widely. The range was from 0.08 to 0.98, depending on the examination performed. Concurrent and predictive validity ranged from poor to good.
Conclusions: Although hundreds of articles exist describing various methods of lower-extremity assessment, few rigorously assess the measurement properties. This information can be used both by the discerning clinician in the art of clinical examination and by the scientist in the measurement properties of reproducibility and validity. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(3): 197–206, 2008)
This prospective longitudinal study assessed whether baseline mean skin temperature measurements are useful in predicting the most common foot-related complications of diabetes mellitus. We evaluated the mean of baseline skin temperatures taken bilaterally from six plantar sites in 1,588 patients with diabetes. There was no difference in skin temperature based on neuropathy, foot laterality, or foot risk category or between people with and without foot deformity and elevated plantar foot pressure. Whereas people with Charcot’s arthropathy had slightly but significantly higher mean temperatures (84.8° ± 3.5° F versus 82.5° ± 4.7° F), this was not true for those who developed ulcers or infections or who underwent amputations. The presence of vascular disease was not associated with lower skin temperatures. Mexican Americans (83.0° ± 4.6° F) and blacks (83.6° ± 4.5° F) had higher mean skin temperatures at baseline than did non-Hispanic whites (81.8° ± 4.6° F). Baseline measurement of nonfocal mean skin temperatures is not an effective means of screening people for future events. Regular assessment of skin temperatures, using the contralateral site as a physiologic control, may be a better use of this technology. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(6): 443-447, 2003)
Background: We evaluated the cost of treating neuroischemic ulcers of the lower extremity in patients with peripheral artery disease by using medical and hospital claims records submitted for reimbursement to payers (private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid).
Methods: Adjudicated claims and remittance data on claims that include submitted charges, line items paid by insurers directly to providers and patient payments of copays, deductibles and co-insurance were used. Eligible patients from a commercial database containing more than 60% of US patients with health insurance were analyzed. Patient selection, performed using International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) codes, yielded a study population of 42,837 unique anonymized patients.
Results: Using the metric of “submitted charges” to overcome differences in levels of reimbursement across insurance payers and Medicare/Medicaid, we identified 34,348 patients with ulcers with an average treatment cost of $94,100 per patient ($41,800 annualized) The costliest ulcer subtype was nonpressure ulcer of the heel/midfoot among 13,184 patients with $121,400 per patient ($53,900 annualized), 29% higher than across all ulcer types. The subset of 22,281 ulcer patients who also had a surgical procedure incurred costs of $121,000 per patient ($53,800 annualized). The costliest surgical codes were complications of vascular prosthetic devices, implants, grafts among 6444 patients with $146,900 per patient ($65,300 annualized). The combination of most expensive ulcer and most expensive surgery yielded a cohort of 2355 patients with the highest average cost of $177,400 per patient ($78,800 annualized).
Conclusions: The resource burden for management of neuroischemic ulcers of the lower extremity in patients with peripheral artery disease is substantial. Mitigating this burden may help reduce significant resource utilization.
Diabetic foot infections are a common and often serious problem, accounting for more hospital bed days than any other complication of diabetes. Despite advances in antibiotic drug therapy and surgical management, these infections continue to be a major risk factor for amputations of the lower extremity. Although a variety of wound size and depth classification systems have been adapted for use in codifying diabetic foot ulcerations, none are specific to infection. In 2003, the International Working Group on the Diabetic Foot developed guidelines for managing diabetic foot infections, including the first severity scale specific to these infections. The following year, the Infectious Diseases Society of America published their diabetic foot infection guidelines. Herein, we review some of the critical points from the Executive Summary of the Infectious Diseases Society of America document and provide a commentary following each issue to update the reader on any pertinent changes that have occurred since publication of the original document in 2004.
The importance of a multidisciplinary limb salvage team, apropos of this special issue jointly published by the American Podiatric Medical Association and the Society for Vascular Surgery, cannot be overstated. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 395–400, 2010)
We sought to identify the biomechanical characteristics of the feet of patients with diabetes mellitus and the interrelationship with diabetic neuropathy by determining the range of joint mobility and the presence and locations of calluses and foot deformities.
This observational comparative study involved 281 patients with diabetes mellitus who underwent neurologic and vascular examinations. Joint mobility studies were performed, and deformities and hyperkeratosis locations were assessed.
No substantial differences were found between patients with and without neuropathy in joint mobility range. Neuropathy was seen as a risk factor only in the passive range of motion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (mean ± SD: 57.2° ± 19.5° versus 50.3° ± 22.5°, P = .008). Mean ± SD ankle joint mobility values were similar in both groups (83.0° ± 5.2° versus 82.8° ± 9.3°, P = .826). Patients without neuropathy had a higher rate of foot deformities such as hallux abductus valgus and hammer toes. There was also a higher presence of calluses in patients without neuropathy (82.8% versus 72.6%; P = .039).
Diabetic neuropathy was not related to limited joint mobility and the presence of calluses. Patients with neuropathy did not show a higher risk of any of the deformities examined. These findings suggest that the etiology of biomechanical alterations in diabetic people is complex and may involve several anatomically and pathologically predisposing factors. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(3): 208–214, 2011)
Transposition of the flexor digitorum longus tendon has been widely reported for the correction of flexible claw and hammertoe deformities. The most common technique uses two cutaneous incisions, one plantar and another dorsal. We performed a cadaveric study to determine whether the flexor digitorum longus tendon could be transferred to the dorsum of the proximal phalanx of the toe from its lateral or medial aspect through a unique single longitudinal central dorsal incision. The rationale for this novel approach was to minimize the risk of vascular compromise to the digit associated with the two-incision approach. Transposition of the flexor digitorum longus tendon was attempted in 120 toes of cadaveric feet (60 each second and third digits) through a central longitudinal dorsal incision. The flexor digitorum longus tendon segment was long enough to be successfully transposed between the flexor digitorum brevis hemitendons of the second and third toes in 100% of the cases using the central longitudinal dorsal incision approach, with a resection arthroplasty at the proximal interphalangeal joint. Transfer of the flexor digitorum longus tendon to the dorsum of the proximal phalanx can be performed for the correction of claw and hammertoe deformities in the second and third digits. The meticulous longitudinal incision of the flexor tendon sheath to expose the flexor digitorum brevis tendon and its longitudinal incision are essential to the successful transfer of the flexor digitorum longus tendon between the flexor digitorum brevis hemitendons. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(5): 430–437, 2013)