Background: Silicone gel sheeting is an effective therapeutic intervention in the management of scar tissue. This pilot study was designed to examine the effect of silicone gel sheeting in preventing reulceration at former wound sites in diabetic patients.
Methods: Thirty patients with diabetes and a healed plantar neuropathic foot ulcer were enrolled and investigated in this randomized controlled trial. Participants with a newly healed ulcer were assigned to use either silicone gel sheeting or emollient cream daily for 3 months.
Results: Compared with emollient cream use, the use of silicone gel sheeting did not diminish and may have potentially increased the risk of reulceration.
Conclusions: Silicone gel sheeting does not seem to reduce the risk of reulceration in diabetic patients. The results of this trial should be viewed with caution given the small sample size. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 116–123, 2011)
Previous studies have demonstrated that radio-frequency nerve ablation (RFNA) can be an effective treatment for plantar fasciosis. This study provides additional evidence in support of this treatment, with statistically significant data that demonstrate the success of this technique.
In this multicenter, randomized, prospective, double-blinded study with crossover, 17 patients were divided into two groups, with eight initially receiving RFNA treatment and nine initially receiving sham treatment. If no improvement was observed after 4 weeks, a crossover was offered. Results of the treatment were evaluated by the patient and by a blinded physician using a visual analog pain scale to rate first-step pain, average pain, and peak pain in the heel region.
We observed a statistically significant improvement in the symptoms of plantar fasciosis in patients actively treated with RFNA and no significant improvement in the sham-treated group. More important, those treated with sham subsequently demonstrated statistically significant improvement after subsequent RFNA treatment.
Using a prospective, randomized study with sham treatment and crossover, this study demonstrates the efficacy of RFNA for the treatment of plantar fasciosis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(1): 8–15, 2013)
Clinicians often use foot orthoses to manage the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Although there has been considerable research evaluating the effectiveness of orthoses for this condition, there is still a lack of scientific evidence that is of suitable quality to fully inform clinical practice. Randomized controlled trials are recognized as the “gold standard” when evaluating the effectiveness of treatments. We discuss why randomized controlled trials are so important, the features of a well-conducted randomized controlled trial, and some of the problems that arise when trial design is not sound. We then evaluate the available evidence for the use of foot orthoses, with particular focus on published randomized controlled trials. From the evidence to date, it seems that foot orthoses do have a role in the management of plantar fasciitis and that prefabricated orthoses are a worthwhile initial management strategy. At this time, however, it is not possible to recommend either prefabricated or customized orthoses as being better, and it cannot be inferred that customized orthoses are more effective over time and therefore have a cost advantage. Additional good-quality randomized controlled trials are needed to answer these questions. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(6): 542–549, 2004)
Forty patients (12 men and 28 women) treated with isolated subtalar joint arthrodesis were retrospectively reviewed. The average patient age was 50 years (range, 21–76 years). Preoperative diagnoses included posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, post-traumatic arthritis, nontraumatic arthritis, and subtalar joint middle facet coalition. The average follow-up was 15 months (range, 12–74 months). Subjective postoperative questionnaire results were classified as satisfied (n = 32), satisfied but with reservations (n = 4), or dissatisfied (n = 4). Eighty-three percent of the patients (n = 33) stated that they would undergo the procedure again. Minor complications (those that resolved with nonoperative treatment) occurred in 55% of the patients. However, the major complication rate was only 12.5%. This study showed no statistical correlation between the preoperative diagnosis and the postoperative outcome. Our results also suggested that the prevalence of complications is slightly higher than in previous reports. Isolated subtalar joint arthrodesis is an effective treatment for pain and deformity of the rearfoot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(1): 34–41, 2005)
Background: Recent research has discussed the use of low-frequency electrical stimulation to increase blood flow by eliciting muscular contraction in soft tissues. This randomized clinical trial examined the efficacy of low-frequency electrical stimulation combined with stretching exercises and foot orthoses in individuals diagnosed as having plantar fasciitis for less than 6 months.
Methods: Twenty-six participants aged 18 to 65 years diagnosed as having plantar fasciitis were randomly assigned to two treatment groups: a control group receiving only stretching and orthoses and a treatment group receiving low-frequency electrical stimulation in addition to stretching and orthoses. To assess treatment response, a visual analog scale was used to determine first-step morning pain, and changes in daily activity levels were monitored by using a validated outcome measure. All of the participants were assessed before starting treatment, after 4 weeks of treatment, and 3 months after the conclusion of treatment.
Results: Participants in the control and experimental groups demonstrated pain reduction and improvements in functional activity levels after 4 weeks and 3 months.
Conclusions: Regardless of whether low-frequency electrical stimulation was used as an intervention, the use of plantar fascia–specific stretching and prefabricated foot orthoses provided short-term (3-month) pain relief and improvement in functional activity levels. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(6): 481–488, 2009)
Randomized trials must be of high methodological quality to yield credible, actionable findings. The main aim of this project was to evaluate whether there has been an improvement in the methodological quality of randomized trials published in the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association (JAPMA).
Randomized trials published in JAPMA during a 15-year period (January 1999 to December 2013) were evaluated. The methodological quality of randomized trials was evaluated using the PEDro scale (scores range from 0 to 10, with 0 being lowest quality). Linear regression was used to assess changes in methodological quality over time.
A total of 1,143 articles were published in JAPMA between January 1999 and December 2013. Of these, 44 articles were reports of randomized trials. Although the number of randomized trials published each year increased, there was only minimal improvement in their methodological quality (mean rate of improvement = 0.01 points per year). The methodological quality of the trials studied was typically moderate, with a mean ± SD PEDro score of 5.1 ± 1.5. Although there were a few high-quality randomized trials published in the journal, most (84.1%) scored between 3 and 6.
Although there has been an increase in the number of randomized trials published in JAPMA, there is substantial opportunity for improvement in the methodological quality of trials published in the journal. Researchers seeking to publish reports of randomized trials should seek to meet current best-practice standards in the conduct and reporting of their trials.
Background: Plantar fascia release for chronic plantar fasciitis has provided excellent pain relief and rapid return to activities with few reported complications. Cadaveric studies have led to the identification of some potential postoperative problems, most commonly weakness of the medial longitudinal arch and pain in the lateral midfoot.
Methods: An electronic search was conducted of the MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, SportDiscus, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane, and AMED databases. The keywords used to search these databases were plantar fasciotomy and medial longitudinal arch. Articles published between 1976 and 2008 were identified.
Results: Collectively, results of cadaveric studies suggested that plantar fasciotomy leads to loss of integrity of the medial longitudinal arch and that total plantar fasciotomy is more detrimental to foot structure than is partial fasciotomy. In vivo studies, although limited in number, concluded that although clinical outcomes were satisfactory, medial longitudinal arch height decreased and the center of pressure of the weightbearing foot was excessively medially deviated postoperatively.
Conclusions: Plantar fasciotomy, in particular total plantar fasciotomy, may lead to loss of stability of the medial longitudinal arch and abnormalities in gait, in particular an excessively pronated foot. Further in vivo studies on the long-term biomechanical effects of plantar fasciotomy are required. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(5): 422–430, 2009)
Podiatric physicians are frequently the first clinicians with the opportunity to diagnose a rheumatologic disease. Awareness of the multisystem nature of the more common rheumatologic conditions will assist podiatrists in making the appropriate diagnosis. The specific joints affected, the temporal pattern of joint involvement, and the distribution of affected joints give clues to the diagnosis. Knowledge of the current treatment for rheumatic diseases as well as early referral for evaluation by a medical physician is essential for the appropriate care of patients with systemic arthritis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(2): 177-186, 2004)
Entrapment of the superficial peroneal nerve is an uncommon neuropathy that may occur because of mechanical compression of the nerve, usually at its exit from the crural fascia. The symptoms include sensory alterations over the distribution area of the superficial peroneal nerve. Clinical examination, electrophysiologic findings, and imaging techniques can establish the diagnosis. Variations in the superficial peroneal sensory innervation over the dorsum of the foot may lead to variable results during neurologic examination and variable symptomatology in patients with nerve entrapment or lesions. Knowledge of the nerve's anatomy at the lower leg, foot, and ankle is of essential significance for the neurologist and surgeon intervening in the area.
Background: The proximal insertional disorder of the plantar fascia is plantar fasciosis. Although plantar fasciosis is frequently seen by different health-care providers, indistinctness of etiology and pathogenesis is still present. A variety of interventions are seen in clinical practice. Taping constructions are frequently used for the treatment of plantar fasciosis. However, a systematic review assessing the efficacy of this therapy modality is not available.
Methods: To assess the efficacy of a taping construction as an intervention or as part of an intervention in patients with plantar fasciosis on pain and disability, controlled trials were searched for in CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane CENTRAL, and PEDro using a specific search strategy. The Physiotherapy Evidence Database scale was used to judge methodological quality. Clinical relevance was assessed with five specific questions. A best-evidence synthesis consisting of five levels of evidence was applied for qualitative analysis.
Results: Five controlled trials met the inclusion criteria. Three trials with high methodological quality and of clinical relevance contributed to the best-evidence synthesis. The findings were strong evidence of pain improvement at 1-week follow-up, inconclusive results for change in level of disability in the short term, and indicative findings that the addition of taping on stretching exercises has a surplus value.
Conclusions: There is limited evidence that taping can reduce pain in the short term in patients with plantar fasciosis. The effect on disability is inconclusive. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(1): 41–51, 2010)