The Lower-Extremity Physician's Prescription for Effectively Treating Infection
The discovery of antibiotic drugs was one of the most significant medical achievements of the 20th century. The improper use of antibiotic drugs to prevent and treat infections has resulted in the emergence of resistance. Antimicrobic stewardship programs are becoming a mainstay in the fight against multidrug-resistant organisms. Individual clinicians should be encouraged to adopt the principles of antibiotic stewardship when treating lower-extremity infections in their scope of practice. First, a review of the available literature outlining the concept and practice of antibiotic stewardship is offered. Second, a discussion describing how to adopt and apply these principles to the individual clinician's practice as it applies to lower-extremity infections is offered. Finally, specific antimicrobial pharmacologic spectra and antibiogram information are offered.
Therapeutic Options for Diabetic Foot Infections
A Review with an Emphasis on Tissue Penetration Characteristics
Foot complications are common in diabetic patients; foot ulcers are among the more serious consequences. These ulcers frequently become infected, and if not treated promptly and appropriately, diabetic foot infections can lead to septic gangrene and amputation. Foot infections may be classified as mild, moderate, or severe; this largely determines the approach to therapy. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common pathogen in these infections, and the increasing incidence of methicillin-resistant S aureus during the past two decades has further complicated antibiotic treatment. Chronic infections are often polymicrobial. Physiologic changes, and local and systemic inflammation, can affect the plasma and tissue pharmacokinetics of antimicrobial agents in diabetic patients, leading to impaired target-site penetration. Knowledge of the serum and tissue concentrations of antibiotics in diabetic patients is, therefore, important for choosing the optimal drug and dose. This article reviews the commonly used therapeutic options for treatment, including many newer antibiotics developed to target multidrug-resistant gram-positive bacteria, and includes available data relating specifically to the tissue penetration of these agents. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(1): 52–63, 2010)
This literature review sought to evaluate the current state of knowledge and guidelines surrounding the role of pH in the recovery of chronic nonhealing wounds. A systematic review of PubMed examining the relationship between pH and wound healing was completed. Seven sources were retrieved for review. The development of a highly structured and reproducible system of pH-driven therapy may add to the treatment algorithm for chronic nonhealing wounds.
Onychomycosis is a chronic fungal infection of the nail that is recalcitrant to treatment. It is unclear why normally effective antifungal therapy results in low cure rates. Evidence suggests that there may be a plethora of reasons that include the limited immune presence in the nail, reduced circulation, presence of commensal microbes, and fungal influence on immune signaling. Therefore, treatment should be designed to address these possibilities and work synergistically with both the innate and adaptive immune responses.
Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in potential phototherapy technologies for the local treatment of bacterial and fungal infection. Currently, onychomycosis is the principle disease that is the target of these phototherapies in podiatric medicine. Some of these technologies are currently undergoing in vitro and in vivo trials approved by institutional review boards. The three light-based technologies are ultraviolet light therapy, near infrared photo-inactivation therapy, and photothermal ablative antisepsis. Each of these technologies have markedly dissimilar mechanisms of action. In this review, each technology will be discussed from the perspectives of history, photobiology, individual mechanism of action, safety, and potential clinical efficacy, with data presented from published material. This review is intended to give podiatric physicians detailed information on state-of-the-art infectious disease phototherapy. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(4): 348–352, 2009)
Achilles tendon rupture is a common athletic injury that results in a painful and antalgic gait. Flexor hallucis longus tendon transfer through arthroscopic, single-incision, or double-incision techniques is used as a treatment approach to address this rupture; however, no studies have compared postoperative complications between these three techniques. A systematic search of published articles was conducted using keywords “Achilles rupture,” “flexor hallucis tendon,” “transfer,” and “recovery.” Articles were then selected based on their title, abstract, and content following full-text review. From each article's reported surgical outcomes, a comparison was made between arthroscopic and single- and double-incision postoperative complications using a χ2 test with significance set at a value of P < .05 followed by post hoc analysis. The arthroscopic approach maintained the lowest rate of postoperative complications, followed by the single- and double-incision techniques. A significant difference in the number of postoperative complications was found between all incisional approaches. The pairwise comparisons, however, could not identify which incisional approaches significantly differed between each other. A reduction in postoperative complications places arthroscopy and the single-incision techniques as the preferred approaches for flexor hallucis longus tendon transfer following an Achilles tendon rupture. Although current literature shows arthroscopy to be superior to single- and double-incision methods, this review demonstrates the need for a greater number of published cases using arthroscopy to establish significance regarding postoperative complications.
Retronychia is an uncommonly reported condition among the category of nail pathologies. It often presents mimicking similar nail disorders, such as onychocryptosis, onychomycosis, and paronychia. This pathologic condition has recently seen an increased presence in the literature, mainly in the form of case studies. Literature on retronychia was collected using PubMed, the US National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health's online database, life science journals, and online books. References cited by these articles were also reviewed for additional relevant publications. Reviews, case studies, and retrospective articles were compiled and analyzed for commonalities in cause, patient demographics, clinical signs, and treatment. Retronychia may be more common than previously suggested. Proper knowledge and education of this pathologic nail condition is important to health-care professionals to achieve early and correct diagnosis.
Fever is an active yet nonspecific response of the body to infections and other insults that cause immune cells to release cytokines, resulting in a brain prostanoid–mediated rise in body temperature. The causes, types, clinical management, and postoperative consequences of fever are reviewed in this article. Physicians use fever as a clinical sign for diagnoses and prognoses, but “fevers of unknown origin” continue to be problematic. Fevers that arise 1 or 2 days after surgery are usually due to stress and trauma, but later postoperative fevers often have more serious causes and consequences, such as wound infection. Fever is commonly encountered by podiatric physicians and surgeons, and certain procedures with the lower extremity are more likely to eventuate in fever. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 281–290, 2010)
Azole antifungal agents (eg, fluconazole and itraconazole) have been widely used to treat superficial fungal infections caused by dermatophytes and, unlike the allylamines (such as terbinafine and naftifine), have been associated with resistance development. Although many published manuscripts describe resistance to azoles among yeast and molds, reports describing resistance of dermatophytes are starting to appear. In this review, I discuss the mode of action of azole antifungals and mechanisms underlying their resistance compared with the allylamine class of compounds. Data from published and original studies were compared and summarized, and their clinical implications are discussed. In contrast to the cidal allylamines, static drugs such as azoles permit the occurrence of mutations in enzymes involved in ergosterol biosynthesis, and the ergosterol precursors accumulating as a consequence of azole action are not toxic. Azole antifungals, unlike allylamines, potentiate resistance development in dermatophytes.
Clinical podiatric medical practice encompasses a wide spectrum of podiatric medical and surgical problems. Technological advances such as imaging have greatly improved diagnostic acumen; however, physical diagnosis and blood testing remain extremely important factors in reinforcing diagnostic hypotheses as a part of differential diagnosis. There are certain blood tests of importance that the podiatric medical practitioner should be familiar with in everyday medical and surgical practice. The purpose of this article is to identify and highlight which blood tests are truly essential and practical in terms of diagnosis. This article encompasses blood tests pertinent to the clinical areas of hematology, hemostasis, electrolytes, endocrine, cardiac, rheumatology, nephrology, and gastroenterology. Careful selection of these tests and proper interpretation of their results will help reinforce diagnostic hypotheses.