Remote ischemic conditioning involves the use of a blood pressure cuff or similar device to induce brief (3–5 min) episodes of limb ischemia. This, in turn, seems to activate a group of distress signals that has shown the potential ability to improve healing of the heart muscle and other organ systems. Until recently, this has not been tested in people with diabetic foot ulcers. The purpose of this review was to provide background on remote ischemic conditioning and recent data to potentially support its use as an adjunct to healing diabetic foot ulcers and other types of tissue loss. We believe that this inexpensive therapy has the potential to be deployed and incorporated into a variety of other therapies to prime patients for healing and to reduce morbidity in patients with this common, complex, and costly complication.
In this study, we aimed to evaluate the potential use of a 3-phase bone scintigraphy method to determine the level of amputation on treatment cost, morbidity and mortality, reamputation rates, and the duration of hospitalization in diabetic foot.
Thirty patients who were admitted to our clinic between September 2008 and July 2009, with diabetic foot were included. All patients were evaluated according to age, gender, diabetes duration, 3-phase bone scintigraphy, Doppler ultrasound, amputation/reamputation levels, and hospitalization periods. Patients underwent 3-phase bone scintigraphy using technetium-99m methylene diphosphonate, and the most distal site of the region displaying perfusion during the perfusion and early blood flow phase was marked as the amputation level. Amputation level was determined by 3-phase bone scintigraphy, Doppler ultrasound, and inspection of the infection-free clear region during surgery.
The amputation levels of the patients were as follows: finger in six (20%), ray amputation in five (16.6%), transmetatarsal in one (3.3%), Lisfranc in two (6.6%), Chopart in seven (23.3%), Syme in one (3.3%), below-the-knee in six (20%), above the knee in one (3.3%), knee disarticulation in one (3.3%), and two patients underwent amputation at other centers. After primary amputation, reamputation was performed on seven patients, and one patient was treated with debridement for wound site problems. No mortality was encountered during study.
We conclude that 3-phase bone scintigraphy prior to surgery could be a useful method to determine the amputation level in a diabetic foot. We conclude that further, comparative, more comprehensive, long-term, and controlled studies are required.
Background: Prediction of amputation would aid clinicians in the management of diabetic foot infections. We aimed to assess the predictive value of baseline and post-treatment levels of acute phase reactants in the outcome of patients with diabetic foot infections.
Methods: We collected data prospectively during minimum follow-up of 6 months in patients with infected diabetic foot ulcers hospitalized in Dokuz Eylul University Hospital between January 1, 2003, and January 1, 2008. After excluding patients who did not attend the hospital for follow-up visits regularly (n = 36), we analyzed data from 165 foot ulcer episodes.
Results: Limb ischemia and osteomyelitis were much more frequent in patients who underwent amputation. Wagner grade, which assesses ulcer depth and the presence of osteomyelitis or gangrene, was higher in patients who needed amputation. Ulcer size was slightly larger in the amputation group. Baseline and post-treatment C-reactive protein levels, erythrocyte sedimentation rates, white blood cell counts, and platelet counts were significantly elevated in patients who underwent amputation. Albumin levels were significantly suppressed in the amputation group. Univariate analysis showed that a 1-SD increase in baseline and post-treatment C-reactive protein levels, erythrocyte sedimentation rates, and white blood cell counts and a 1-SD decrease in post-treatment albumin levels were significantly associated with increased risk of amputation. Post-treatment C-reactive protein level was strongly associated with amputation risk.
Conclusions: Circulating levels of acute phase reactants were associated with amputation risk in diabetic foot infections. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(1): 1–6, 2011)
The aim of this study was to observe the pressure changes in the felt padding used to off-load pressure from the first metatarsal head, the effects obtained by different designs, and the loss of effectiveness over time.
With a study population of 17 persons, two types of 5-mm semicompressed felt padding were tested: one was C-shaped, with an aperture cutout at the first metatarsophalangeal joint, and the other was U-shaped. Pressures on the sole of the foot were evaluated with a platform pressure measurement system at three time points: before fitting the felt padding, immediately afterward, and 3 days later.
In terms of decreased mean pressure on the first metatarsal, significant differences were obtained in all of the participants (P < .001). For plantar pressures on the central metatarsals, the differences between all states and time points were significant for the C-shaped padding in both feet (P < .001), but with the U-shaped padding the only significant differences were between no padding and padding and at day 3 (P = .01 and P = .02).
In healthy individuals, the U-shaped design, with a padding thickness of 5 mm, achieved a more effective and longer-lasting reduction in plantar pressure than the C-shaped design.
Homeless people live in poverty, with limited access to public health services. They are likely to experience chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes mellitus; however, they do not always receive the necessary services to prevent complications. This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of a volunteer health service outreach to reduce disparity in diabetic foot care for homeless people.
The research was conducted on 21 patients with diabetic ulcers of 930 homeless people visited between 2008 and 2013. Each ulcer was treated with regular medication every week for a mean ± SD of 17.6 ± 12 months. The inclusion criteria were 1) homeless with a previous diagnosis of diabetes or a blood glucose level greater than 126 mg/dL at first check and 2) foot ulcer caused by diabetic vasculopathy or neuropathy. The efficacy of the interventions was assessed against the number of successfully cured diabetic feet based on a reduced initial Wagner classification score for each ulcer.
Clinical improvement was observed in 18 patients (86%), whose pathologic condition was completely resolved after 3 years and, therefore, no longer needed medication. One patient died of septic shock and kidney failure, and two patients needed amputation owing to clinical worsening of ulcers (Wagner class 4 at the last visit).
Most homeless people who have diabetes and diabetic foot encounter many difficulties managing their disease, and a volunteer health-care unit could be a suitable option to bridge these gaps.
We aimed to evaluate surrogate markers commonly used in the literature for diabetic foot osteomyelitis remission after initial treatment for diabetic foot infections (DFIs).
Thirty-five patients with DFIs were prospectively enrolled and followed for 12 months. Osteomyelitis was determined from bone culture and histologic analysis initially and for recurrence. Fisher exact and χ2 tests were used for dichotomous variables and Student t and Mann-Whitney U tests for continuous variables (α = .05).
Twenty-four patients were diagnosed as having osteomyelitis and 11 as having soft-tissue infections. Four patients (16.7%) with osteomyelitis had reinfection based on bone biopsy. The success of osteomyelitis treatment varied based on the surrogate marker used to define remission: osteomyelitis infection (16.7%), failed wound healing (8.3%), reulceration (20.8%), readmission (16.7%), amputation (12.5%). There was no difference in outcomes among patients who were initially diagnosed as having osteomyelitis versus soft-tissue infections. There were no differences in osteomyelitis reinfection (16.7% versus 45.5%; P = .07), wounds that failed to heal (8.3% versus 9.1%; P = .94), reulceration (20.8% versus 27.3%; P = .67), readmission for DFIs at the same site (16.7% versus 36.4%; P = .20), amputation at the same site after discharge (12.5% versus 36.4%; P = .10). Osteomyelitis at the index site based on bone biopsy indicated that failed therapy was 16.7%. Indirect markers demonstrated a failure rate of 8.3% to 20.8%.
Most osteomyelitis markers were similar to markers in soft-tissue infection. Commonly reported surrogate markers were not shown to be specific to identify patients who failed osteomyelitis treatment compared with patients with soft-tissue infections. Given this, these surrogate markers are not reliable for use in practice to identify osteomyelitis treatment failure.
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.
The Villiers-Saint-Denis Hospital in France specializes in the rehabilitation of and fitting of orthoses for lower-limb amputees, who frequently have diabetes mellitus. The percentage of partial-foot amputations has increased relative to the percentage of transtibial or transfemoral amputations. This article describes a complete range of orthoses and prostheses, adapted to each patient, that allow recovery of the standing position, gait ability, and physical activity. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(3): 221-228, 2003)
Diabetic foot complications are costly and often recurrent. The use of diabetic footwear has been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of diabetic foot ulcerations. For diabetic footwear to be most effective, it must be worn at least 60% of the time. All reported rates of compliance fall well short of this level. The style and appearance of the shoe have been commonly blamed for this poor compliance. This study evaluates patients’ motivations and perceptions regarding diabetic footwear. A patient’s decision to use diabetic footwear is based on the perceived value of the shoe and not on the patient’s previous history of foot complications or the aesthetics of diabetic footwear. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 93(6): 485-491, 2003)
Skin grafting provides an effective means of closing chronic wounds. Autografts and allografts are used most often in skin grafting, but Apligraf, a tissue-engineered bilayered human skin equivalent, provides another safe and effective grafting option for treating diabetic, venous, and pressure ulcers. This skin equivalent has an epidermis and dermis similar to human skin, largely due to its derivation from neonatal foreskin. Apligraf is also easily accessible and has shown little immunoreactivity. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(1): 19-23, 2002)