The preferred primary treatment of toe osteomyelitis in diabetic patients is controversial. We compared the outcome of primary nonoperative antibiotic treatment versus digital amputation in patients with diabetes-related chronic digital osteomyelitis.
We conducted a retrospective medical record review of patients treated for digital osteomyelitis at a single center. Patients were divided into two groups according to initial treatment: 1) nonoperative treatment with intravenous antibiotics and 2) amputation of the involved toe or ray. Duration of hospitalization, number of rehospitalizations, and rate of below- or above-the-knee major amputations were evaluated.
The nonoperative group comprised 39 patients and the operative group included 21 patients. The mean ± SD total duration of hospitalization was 24.05 ± 15.43 and 20.67 ± 15.97 days, respectively (P = .43). The mean ± SD number of rehospitalizations after infection recurrence was 2.62 ± 1.63 and 1.67 ± 1.24, respectively (P = .02). During follow-up, the involved digit was eventually amputated in 13 of the 39 nonoperatively treated patients (33.3%). The rate of major amputation (above- or below-knee amputation was four of 39 (10.3%) and three of 21 (14.3%), respectively (P = .69).
Despite a higher rate of rehospitalizations and a high failure rate, in patients with mild and limited digital foot osteomyelitis in the absence of sepsis it may be reasonable to offer a primary nonoperative treatment for digital osteomyelitis of the foot.
Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a major burden to patients and to the health-care systems of many countries. To prevent or treat ulcers more effectively, predictive biomarkers are needed. We examined temperature as a biomarker and as a causative factor in ulcer development.
Thirty-seven individuals with diabetes were enrolled in this observational case-control study: nine with diabetic neuropathy and ulcer history (DFU), 14 with diabetic neuropathy (DN), and 14 nonneuropathic control participants (DC). Resting barefoot plantar temperatures were recorded using an infrared thermal camera. Mean temperatures were determined in four anatomical regions—hallux and medial, central, and lateral forefoot—and separate linear models with specified contrasts among the DFU, DN, and DC groups were set to reveal mean differences for each foot region while controlling for group characteristics.
The mean temperature reading in each foot region was higher than 30.0°C in the DFU and DN groups and lower than 30.0°C in the DC group. Mean differences were greatest between the DFU and DC groups, ranging from 3.2°C in the medial forefoot to 4.9°C in the hallux.
Increased plantar temperatures in individuals with a history of ulcers may include acute temperature increases from plantar stresses, chronic inflammation from prolonged stresses, and impairment in temperature regulation from autonomic neuropathy. Diabetic foot temperatures, particularly in patients with previous ulcers, may easily reach hazard thresholds indicated by previous pressure ulcer studies. The results necessitate further exploration of temperature in the diabetic foot and how it may contribute to ulceration.
Dialysis therapy is associated with an increased incidence of lower-extremity wounds and amputations. We compared the incidence of foot ulcers and amputations before and after the start of dialysis.
We evaluated 150 consecutive diabetic patients receiving dialysis and compared the incidence of foot complications 30 months before and after initiation of hemodialysis. We used claims data for diabetes, ulceration, and dialysis and abstracted medical records to verify diagnoses and dates of ulcers and amputations. We compared initial and cumulative ulcer/amputation incidence to account for multiple events in the same person over time. We used the same formula to determine the incidence rate difference and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to compare new ulcers and amputations during the study.
There was no significant difference in the incidence of first foot ulcers before (91.7 per 1,000 patient-years; 95% CI, 73.7–112.3 per 1,000 patient-years) and after (82.7; 95% CI, 65.7–102.3) the start of hemodialysis. The incidence of cumulative ulcers was significantly higher before (304.0 per 1,000 patient-years; 95% CI, 270.8–340.2) compared with after (210.7 per 1,000 patient-years; 95% CI, 183.0–240.9) dialysis. There was no difference in the incidence of first amputation before (29.3 per 1,000 patient-years; 95% CI, 1 9.4–41.7 per 1,000 patient-years) and after (37.3 per 1,000 patient-years; 95% CI, 19.4–41.7 per 1,000 patient-years) dialysis or in the cumulative incidence of amputations before (61.3 per 1,000 patient-years; 95% CI, 46.7–8.4 per 1,000 patient-years) and after (58.7 per 1,000 patient-years; 95% CI, 44.5–75.5 per 1,000 patient-years) dialysis.
There was no increase in the incidence of ulcers or amputations after beginning hemodialysis.
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.
Osteomyelitis is a common complication in the diabetic foot that can conclude with amputation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DWI) in the diagnosis of osteomyelitis in diabetic foot ulcer (DFU).
Thirty patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and a DFU were enrolled. Both DWIs and conventional MRIs were obtained. Apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) measurements were made by transferring the images to a workstation. The measurements were made both from bone with osteomyelitis, or nearest to the injured area if osteomyelitis is not available, and from the adjacent soft tissue.
The patients comprised nine women (30%) and 21 men (70%) with a mean age of 58.7 years (range, 41–78 years). The levels of ADC were significantly low (P = .022) and the erythrocyte sedimentation rates were significantly high (P = .014) in patients with osteomyelitis (n = 9) compared with patients without osteomyelitis (n = 21). The mean ± SD bone ADC value (0.75 ± 0.16 × 10–3 mm2/sec) was significantly lower than the adjacent soft-tissue ADC value (0.90 ± 0.15 × 10–3 mm2/sec) in patients with osteomyelitis (P = .04).
It is suggested that DWI contributes to conventional MRI with short imaging time and no requirement for contrast agent. Therefore, DWI may be an alternative diagnostic method for the evaluation of DFU and the detection of osteomyelitis.
Foot ulcers are among the most serious complications of diabetes and can lead to amputation. Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) often fail to heal with standard wound care, thereby making new treatments necessary. This case series describes the addition of a dehydrated amniotic membrane allograft (DAMA) to standard care in unresolved DFUs.
This is a single-center retrospective chart review of eight patients who had one to three applications of DAMA to nine DFUs that had failed to resolve despite offloading, other standard care, and adjuvant therapies. Following initial DAMA placement, wound size (length, width, depth) was measured every 1 to 2 weeks until closure. The principal outcome assessed was mean time to wound closure; other outcomes included mean percent reduction from baseline in wound area and volume at weeks 2 to 8.
All wounds were closed a mean of 9.2 weeks after the first DAMA application (range, 3.0–13.5 weeks). Compared with baseline, wound area and volume, respectively, were reduced by a mean of 48% and 60% at week 2 and by 89% and 91% at week 8. Time to closure was shorter among four patients who had three DAMA applications (mean, 8.3 weeks; range, 4.0–11.0 weeks) than among three patients who had only one application (mean, 12.1 weeks; range, 9.5–13.5 weeks).
Chronic, unresolved DFUs treated with DAMA rapidly improved and reached closure in an average of 9.2 weeks. These cases suggest that DAMA can facilitate closure of DFUs that have failed to respond to standard treatments.
Diabetic foot infections (DFIs) are the most common cause of hospitalization for patients with diabetes. Studies have shown diabetic patients have high readmission rates. It is important to identify variables that contribute to readmission. This study aimed to investigate clinical variables associated with 30-day hospital readmission in patients with DFI.
We conducted a retrospective study of adults admitted to the hospital for DFI between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2015. We identified patients by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes and randomly selected 35% of medical records for review. Patients were excluded if they did not have a DFI by review, were pregnant, or were incarcerated. The primary outcome was 30-day readmission. Data collected included baseline demographics, medical comorbidities, substance abuse, homelessness, tobacco use, and laboratory and surgical pathology data. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify independent predictors.
Of 140 included patients, 106 (76%) were male. Median age was 55 years and length of stay (LOS) was 7 days. In univariate analysis, 31 patients (22%) were readmitted in the 30 days after the index hospitalization. Factors associated with readmission included treatment failure, elevated C-reactive protein level, and hospital LOS (P < .05). In multivariate analyses, LOS and treatment failure were independent predictors of readmission.
The 30-day readmission rate for patients with DFI is high. Treatment failure, C-reactive protein, and LOS are independently associated with readmission. More work is needed to determine reasons for readmission so that appropriate measures can be taken before discharge.
Background: A retrospective review of one surgeon’s practice was conducted to assess the prevalence of wound complications associated with acute and chronic rupture repair, peritenolysis, tenodesis, debridement, retrocalcaneal exostectomy/bursectomy, and management of calcific tendinopathy of the Achilles tendon.
Methods: We evaluated the incidence of infection and other wound complications, such as suture reactions, scar revision, hematoma, incisional neuromas, and granuloma formation.
Results: A total of 219 surgical cases were available for review (140 males and 70 females; mean ± SD age at the time of surgery, 46.5 ± 12.6 years; age range, 16–75 years). Seven patients experienced a wound infection, three had keloid formation, six had suture granulomas, and six had suture abscesses, for a total complication rate of 10.0%. Six patients had more than one complication; therefore, the percentage of patients with complications was 7.3%. There were no hematomas. Seven patients had additional surgery after their wound complications; some had simple granuloma excision, and one necessitated a flap. Patients with risk factors such as diabetes mellitus, smoking, and rheumatoid arthritis necessitating corticosteroid therapy were more likely to have a wound complication (Fisher exact test, P = .03).
Conclusions: Complications with Achilles tendon surgery may be unavoidable. Suture granulomas may appear in a delayed manner. Absorbable and nonabsorbable sutures can be implicated. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(2): 95–101, 2008)
The etiology of neuropathic diabetic foot wounds can be summarized by the following formula: pressure × cycles of repetitive stress = ulceration. The final pathway to ulceration consists of an inflammatory response, leading to tissue breakdown. Mitigation of this response might reduce the risk of ulceration. This proof-of-concept trial evaluates whether simple cooling of the foot can safely reduce the time to thermal equilibrium after activity. After a 15-min brisk walk, the six nondiabetic volunteers enrolled were randomly assigned to receive either air cooling or a 10-min 55°F cool water bath followed by air cooling. The process was then repeated with the intervention reversed, allowing subjects to serve as their own controls. There was a rise in mean ± SD skin temperature after 15 min of activity versus preactivity levels (87.8° ± 3.9° versus 79° ± 2.2° F; P = .0001). Water cooling immediately brought the foot to a point cooler than preactivity levels for all subjects, whereas air cooling required an average of nearly 17 min to do so. Ten minutes of cooling required a mean ± SD of 26.2 ± 5.9 min to warm to preactivity levels. No adverse effects resulted from the intervention. We conclude that cooling the foot may be a safe and effective method of reducing inflammation and may serve as a prophylactic or interventional tool to reduce skin breakdown risk. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(2): 103–107, 2005)
It is well known that interleukin-18 (IL-18) plays a key role in the inflammatory process. However, there are limited data on the role IL-18 plays with diabetic foot ulcers, an acute and complex inflammatory situation. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate serum IL-18 levels of diabetic patients with foot ulcers.
Twenty diabetic patients with acute foot ulcers, 21 diabetic patients without a history of foot ulcers, and 21 healthy volunteers were enrolled in our study. Circulating levels of IL-18, and other biochemical markers are parameters of inflammation and were measured in all three groups.
Diabetic patients both with and without foot ulcers had high IL-18 concentrations (P < 0.001 and P = 0.020, respectively) when compared with the nondiabetic volunteers. Those with foot ulcers had higher levels of IL-18 level (P < 0.001), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) (P = 0.001), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) (P < 0.001) than those without foot ulcers.
We found that serum IL-18 concentrations were elevated in diabetic patients with acute diabetic foot ulcers. However, these findings do not indicate whether the IL-18 elevation is a cause or a result of the diabetic foot ulceration. Further studies are needed to show the role of IL-18 in the course of these ulcers.