Background: Chronic plantar heel pain (CPHP) is common and is thought to have a detrimental impact on health-related quality of life. However, no study has used normative data or a control data set for comparison of scores. Therefore, we describe the impact of CPHP on foot-specific and general health-related quality of life by comparing CPHP subjects with controls.
Methods: Foot Health Status Questionnaire scores were compared in 80 subjects with CPHP and 80 sex- and age-matched controls without CPHP.
Results: The CPHP group demonstrated significantly poorer foot-specific quality of life, as evidenced by lower scores on the foot pain, foot function, footwear, and general foot health domains of the Foot Health Status Questionnaire. The group also demonstrated significantly poorer general health-related quality of life, with lower scores on the physical activity, social capacity, and vigor domains. In multivariate analysis, CPHP remained significantly and independently associated with Foot Health Status Questionnaire scores after adjustment for differences in body mass index. Age, sex, body mass index, and whether symptoms were unilateral or bilateral had no association with the degree of impairment in people with CPHP.
Conclusion: Chronic plantar heel pain has a significant negative impact on foot-specific and general health-related quality of life. The degree of negative impact does not seem to be associated with age, sex, or body mass index. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(4): 283–289, 2008)
Morton's neuroma is a perineural fibrosis of an intermetatarsal plantar nerve. Burning, numbness, paresthesia, and tingling down the interspaces of involved toes may also be experienced. Taking into account all of this information, we designed a prospective open-label study to evaluate the efficacy of pulsed radio frequency on Morton's neuroma.
Twenty patients with Morton's neuroma were experiencing symptomatic neuroma pain in the foot not relieved by routine conservative treatment. All of the patients had been evaluated by a specialized orthopedist and were offered pulsed radio frequency as a last option before having surgery. Initially, pain level (numerical rating scale), successful pain control (a ≥50% pain decrease was accepted as successful pain control), comfort when walking (yes or no), and satisfaction level (satisfied or not satisfied) were evaluated.
We found a decrease in the pain level in 18 of 20 patients, successful pain control in 12, and wearing shoes and walking without pain in 16. Overall, satisfaction was rated as excellent or good by 12 patients with Morton's neuroma in this series.
This evidence indicates that ultrasound-guided pulsed radio frequency is a promising treatment modality in the management of Morton's neuroma pain.
Fasciotomy and Surgical Tenotomy for Chronic Achilles Insertional Tendinopathy
A Retrospective Study Using Ultrasound-Guided Percutaneous Microresection
Achilles insertional tendon pathology is a common condition affecting a broad range of patients. When conservative treatments are unsuccessful, the traditional open resection, debridement, and reattachment of the Achilles tendon is a variably reliable procedure with significant risk of morbidity. Fasciotomy and surgical tenotomy using ultrasound-guided percutaneous microresection is used on various tendons in the body, but the efficacy has not been examined specifically for the Achilles tendon.
A retrospective review evaluated 26 procedures in 25 patients who underwent Achilles fasciotomy and surgical tenotomy. The Foot Function Index was used to quantify pain, disability, activity limitation, and overall scores.
Mean Foot Function Index scores were as follows: pain, 8.53%; disability, 7.91%; activity limitation, 2.50%; and overall, 6.97%. Twenty index procedures were successful, and two patients repeated the procedure successfully for an overall 84.6% success rate in patients with chronic insertional pathology with mean surveillance of 16 months. There were no infections or systemic complications.
Ultrasound-guided percutaneous microresection is a safe and minimally invasive percutaneous alternative that can be used before proceeding to a more invasive open procedure.
Plantar plate repairs are challenging procedures because of the small anatomy of the plantar plate. This can make them daunting, time-consuming procedures to perform. Advances in technology, such as interference screws and small suture passers, have created improved technique possibilities to decrease difficulty, correct multiple planes of deformity, create stronger constructs, and improve patient results. The plantar plate repair technique presented in this article includes a dorsal approach with a metatarsal osteotomy, a knotless repair that provides a strong construct to allow patients to protectively bear weight immediately, and can reduce operative time by presenting tips to quickly navigate the procedure. The presented technique allows for detailed correction of all three planes of deformity, maximizing patient results.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether changes in plantar fascia thickness are a reliable gauge of efficacy of treatment protocols for plantar fasciitis.
Thirty-nine feet (30 patients) with plantar fasciitis received an ultrasound examination to measure the thickness of the medial band of the plantar fascia. Each patient assessed his or her pain using the visual analogue scale. Following various treatments, a second ultrasound examination was performed and the thickness of the plantar fascia was again measured and subjective pain level assessed.
Twenty-nine feet (74.4%) showed a decrease in plantar fascia thickness and a decrease in pain. One foot (2.6%) experienced an increase in fascia thickness and reported an increase in pain. Four feet (10.3%) had an increase in thickness of the plantar fascia and reported no change in pain level. Three feet had minor increases in fascia thickness but reported a decrease in pain (7.7%). One foot (2.6%) had no change in fascia thickness but a decrease in pain and one foot (2.6%) had a decrease in the plantar fascia but no change in pain level. The average reduction in fascia thickness was 0.82 mm ±1.04 mm, correlating with an average improvement in pain of 3.64 ± 2.7 (P < 0.005).
This study provides evidence that changing thickness of the plantar fascia is a valid objective measurement to assess effectiveness of new or existing treatment protocols. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(5): 385–389, 2011)
Magnetic resonance imaging is playing an increasingly important role in evaluation of the injured athlete’s foot and ankle. Magnetic resonance imaging allows accurate detection of bony abnormalities, such as stress fractures, and soft-tissue abnormalities, including ligament tears, tendon tears, and tendinopathy. The interpreter of magnetic resonance images should systematically review the images, noting normal structures and accounting for changes in soft-tissue and bony signal. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(1): 59–67, 2007)
Triple Arthrodesis Using External Ring Fixation and Arched-Wire Compression
An Evaluation of 87 Patients
From January 1995 to December 2000, 87 patients at a single medical center underwent triple arthrodesis using external rings and arched-wire compression as the method of fixation. A retrospective evaluation was conducted to assess the clinical results of this technique. Eighty-four patients (97%) achieved clinical and radiographic fusion in 6 to 8 weeks. All of the patients were partially weightbearing during the first postoperative week. Thirty-one patients (36%) developed a superficial infection at one or more wire insertion sites, and nine (10%) experienced dehiscence of an incision. Three patients (3%) developed an asymptomatic nonunion. This article describes the use of external ring fixation with arched-wire compression for triple arthrodesis and presents the findings from 87 patients who underwent this technique. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(1): 12-21, 2004)
Most complications of calcaneal fractures are due to the combination of the dynamic nature and the mechanism of the injury itself. Complications are usually secondary to three integral parts of this complex fracture pattern: 1) fracture and depression of the subtalar joint, 2) loss of the height of the calcaneal body with varus rotation, and 3) expansion of the lateral wall of the calcaneus. Other complications occur with less frequency. This article describes the complications and sequelae of old, malunited intra-articular calcaneal fractures in relation to the nature and the components of these unique fractures. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(4): 382–388, 2004)
Ganglion cysts are relatively common entities, but intraneural ganglia within peripheral nerves are rare and poorly understood. We present a case of a 51-year-old man who presented with acute left dropfoot. Initial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was misinterpreted as common peroneal neuritis consistent with a traction injury corroborated by the patient’s history. However, after surgical decompression and external neurolysis were performed, the patient’s symptoms worsened. Repeated MRI revealed an intraneural ganglion cyst of the common peroneal nerve with connection to the superior tibiofibular joint by means of its anterior recurrent branch that was evident retrospectively on preoperative MRI. It is crucial to carefully inspect atypical cases to further recognize and appreciate the dynamic aspect of this disease or “roller-coaster” phenomenon. Intraneural ganglion cysts rely heavily on intraneural and extraneural pressure gradients for propagation, which can be drawn from the expanded work of the unifying articular theory. This report emphasizes the importance of understanding the pathoanatomical and hydraulic factors to appropriately identify and treat intraneural ganglion cysts. Increased recognition of this pathologic entity as a differential diagnosis for acute onset dropfoot is also highlighted.
Progressive subluxation/dislocation of the lesser toes resulting from idiopathic inflammation about one or more of the lesser metatarsophalangeal joints is a common cause of metatarsalgia that is frequently unrecognized or misdiagnosed. The disorder results from a failure of the plantar plate and collateral ligaments that stabilize the metatarsophalangeal joints and is typically associated with abnormal forefoot loading patterns. The authors refer to this condition as predislocation syndrome and have devised a clinical staging system that is based on the clinical signs and symptoms present during examination. A thorough review of predislocation syndrome and an overview of the conservative and surgical treatment options available for this disorder are presented. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(4): 182-199, 2002)