The etiology of chronic venous insufficiency is typically neglected or misunderstood when treating lower-extremity edema and venous ulcerations. Despite the high prevalence of venous compression syndromes, it is rarely considered when treating venous ulcers and unresolved venous disease. We report a case of bilateral iliac vein outflow obstruction that prohibited venous ulcer healing until properly treated. This case highlights the importance of properly identifying and treating venous compression syndromes to enhance ulcer healing and decrease the risk of venous ulcer recurrence.
Diabetic foot infections are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, and successful treatment often requires an aggressive and prolonged approach. Recent work has elucidated the importance of appropriate therapy for a given severity of diabetic foot infection, and highlighted the ongoing risk such patients have for subsequent invasive life-threatening infection should diabetic foot ulcers fail to heal. The authors describe the case of a man with diabetes who had prolonged, delayed healing of a diabetic foot ulcer. The ulcer subsequently became infected by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The infection was treated conservatively with oral therapy and minimal debridement. Several months later, he experienced MRSA bloodstream infection and complicating endocarditis. The case highlights the ongoing risk faced by patients when diabetic foot ulcers do not heal promptly, and emphasizes the need for aggressive therapy to promote rapid healing and eradication of MRSA.
Skin ulcers can be very painful and detrimental in patients with systemic sclerosis, or systemic scleroderma. A brief review of scleroderma skin ulcers is presented, as well as a case study that demonstrates the effectiveness of becaplermin gel supplemented by oral immunosuppressive agents in the treatment of ulcers resulting from systemic sclerosis. The time to healing (approximately 3 months) was comparable to that associated with the oral agents and surgical interventions specifically designed to help heal scleroderma ulcers. Except for incisional biopsy, no surgical procedures were performed. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(6): 350-354, 2002)
Neuropathic foot ulcers are a common complication in patients with diabetes. These ulcers are often slow to heal and can lead to infection, further tissue destruction, osteomyelitis, and amputation. These patients pose a challenge to clinicians who must determine the best treatment options while balancing the risks, benefits, and costs. Conservative therapies often present disappointing results, and a number of newer “biologic bandages” have been developed to better assist the healing process. We describe results from diabetic patients with neuropathic foot ulcers treated with a new amniotic membrane–based allograft.
The number of people with diabetes is expected to reach 592 million in the year 2035. Diabetic foot lesions are responsible for more hospitalizations than any other complication of diabetes. The aims of this study were to examine for the first time a new biocompatible and biodegradable tridimensional collagen-based matrix, GBT013, in humans for diabetic foot ulcer wound healing and to evaluate its ease of use to better define a protocol for a future clinical trial. Seven adult patients with a diabetic foot ulcer of grade 1A to 3D (University of Texas Diabetic Wound Classification) were treated using GBT013, a new collagen-based advance dressing and were monitored in two specialized foot care units for a maximum of 9 weeks. Five of seven wounds achieved complete healing in 4 to 7 weeks. Nonhealed ulcers showed a significant reduction of the wound surface (>44%). GBT013 was well tolerated and displayed positive wound healing outcomes as a new treatment strategy of chronic foot ulcers in diabetic patients.
The incidence of cutaneous melanoma is rising faster than that of almost any other cancer in the United States. Acral lentiginous melanoma is a subtype of melanoma that involves the palms, soles, and nail beds. Although it is one of the rarer types of melanoma, it has a poorer prognosis than other more common subtypes. We describe a case of plantar acral melanoma in a 66-year-old woman that was initially misdiagnosed as a traumatic foot ulcer. We highlight this case to emphasize the importance of close observation and biopsy of ulcerative lesions of the foot that have atypical features or are refractory to standard treatment.
Ablative fractional laser is suggested to promote wound healing in diabetic and venous leg ulcers. In this article, we report the treatment outcome of a recalcitrant foot ulceration related to lower leg arteriopathy. A 43-year-old man with typical digital substraction angiographic findings of arteriopathy was admitted to our department after 30 sessions of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. There was heterotopic tissue within the ulcer consistent with osseous metaplasia and mature bone tissue. This tissue was removed with full-field erbium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser, and the remaining parts received fractional erbium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser for the induction of wound healing. A decrease in ulcer dimensions was achieved by the second month of laser interventions without recurrence in the first-year control.
Diabetes often causes ulcers on the feet of diabetic patients. A 56-year-old, insulin-dependent, diabetic woman presented to the wound care center with a Wagner grade 3 ulcer of the right heel. She reported a 3-week history of ulceration with moderate drainage and odor and had a history of ulceration and osteomyelitis in the contralateral limb. Rigorous wound care, including hospitalization; surgical incision and drainage; intravenous antibiotic drug therapy; vacuum-assisted therapy; and a new room temperature, sterile, human acellular dermal matrix graft were used to heal the wound, save her limb, and restore her activities of daily living. This case presentation involves alternative treatment of a diabetic foot ulcer with this new acellular dermal matrix, DermACELL.
A rare and unusual case of plasma cell dyscrasia of the calcaneus is presented. Clinically, the patient had a draining and painful ulcer that was treated with appropriate antibiotics and wound care but failed to show any signs of healing. Radiographic images showed cystic changes of the calcaneus in the vicinity of the ulcer. Blood work was negative for bone and soft-tissue infection, but uric acid and alkaline phosphatase levels were elevated. Nuclear bone scan showed increased uptake in the calcaneus suggestive of osteomyelitis. One possible differential diagnosis was an intraosseous gouty tophus deposit. Not convinced that this was either a bone infection or gout, the author performed a bone biopsy. Pathologic evaluation indicated plasma cell dyscrasia. Continued wound care healed the ulcer completely, with resolution of pain of his heel. Oncology/hematology was consulted, and 16 months after biopsy, he remains asymptomatic.
A 55-year-old man with poliomyelitis presented with a plantarflexed foot and painful ulceration of the sub–first metatarsophalangeal joint present for many years. A two-stage procedure was performed to bring the foot to 90°, perpendicular to the leg, and resolve the ulceration. The first stage corrected only soft-tissue components. It involved using a hydrosurgery system to debride and prepare the ulcer, a unilobed rotational skin plasty to close the ulcer, and a tendo Achillis lengthening to decrease forefoot pressure. The second stage corrected the osseous deformity with a dorsiflexory wedge osteotomy of the first metatarsal. The ulceration has remained closed since the procedures, with complete resolution of pain.