Patients with diabetic neuropathy are subject to ulcerations that may be complicated by infection and gangrene, with subsequent risk of amputation. It is the job of the foot specialist to identify and manage these problems early to avoid the unfortunate complication of amputation regardless of the presenting condition of the patient’s limb. We shed light on the hypothesis that suggests that infection and gangrene in a diabetic patient aggravate the degree of ischemia (microvascular, macrovascular, or both) already present enough to endanger the viability of the surrounding tissues unless urgent drainage with decompression and debridement of the necrotic sloughs is performed, with consequent reduction of tissue pressure and improvement in circulation to the area. We present cases with severe infections leading to gangrene and ischemia, which were improved following surgical management with consequent improvement in tissue viability. In these cases, we demonstrate that immediate treatment of the wound despite the delayed presentation of the patients resulted in limb salvage with much less soft-tissue loss than expected before treatment. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(5): 454–458, 2009)
It is important to have a full appreciation of lower-extremity anatomical relationships before undertaking diabetic foot surgery. We sought to evaluate the potential for communication of the flexor hallucis longus (FHL) tendon with other pedal tendons and plantar foot compartments at the master knot of Henry and to provide cadaveric images and computed tomographic (CT) scans of such communications. Computed tomography and subsequent anatomical dissection were performed on embalmed cadaveric limbs. Initially, 5 to 10 mL (1:4 dilution) of iohexol and normal saline was injected into the FHL sheath as it coursed between the two hallux sesamoids. Subsequently, CT scans were obtained in the axial plane using a multidetector CT scanner with sagittal and coronal reformatted images. The limbs were then dissected for specific evaluation of the known variable intertendinous connections between the FHL and flexor digitorum longus (FDL) and quadratus plantae (QP) muscles. One cadaver demonstrated retrograde flow of contrast into the four individual tendons of the FDL, with observation of a large intertendinous slip between the FHL and FDL on dissection. Another cadaver demonstrated contrast filling in the QP with an associated intertendinous slip between the FHL and QP on dissection. These results indicate that the master knot of Henry (the location in the plantar aspect of the midfoot where the FHL and FDL tendons decussate, with the FDL passing superficially over the FHL) has at least the potential to serve as one source of communication in diabetic foot infections from the medial plantar compartment and FHL to the central and lateral compartments via the FDL and to the rearfoot via the QP.
Fusion of an interphalangeal joint of a lesser toe is a commonly used procedure for addressing interphalangeal joint deformities such as a hammer or a claw toe. Fusion can be achieved by insertion of an intramedullary Kirschner wire in a retrograde manner. Deviation of the Kirschner wire from the intramedullary canal into the surrounding soft tissues is common. This can render the fusion unstable and can cause painful soft-tissue irritation and early Kirschner wire loosening, resulting in an unstable nonunion with recurrence of deformity. We describe a simple and reproducible technique to assist with optimal intramedullary placement of the Kirschner wire, thereby reducing the risk of complications after interphalangeal joint fusion of a toe.
Osteomyelitis of the calcaneus combined with a pathologic fracture is a rare and difficult presentation for any practicing foot and ankle surgeon. Treatment for achieving an aseptic nonunion involves a variety of steps, including surgical debridement, antibiotic administration, and fracture stabilization. In this case series, we report a novel technique for the treatment of a tongue-type calcaneal fracture in the setting of chronic osteomyelitis using the Biomet JuggerLoc bone-to-bone system for fixation.
Ingrown toenails are one of the most common pathologic conditions encountered in podiatric medical practice. Many methods of treatment for ingrown toenails have been used and studied, including chemical matrixectomies, surgical approaches, and CO2 laser ablation. This study is a retrospective review of a new technique that consists of resection of the involved nail matrix using a No. 15 blade and controlled cauterization using a CO2 laser. The technique was performed on 381 painful ingrown toenails, and all of the patients were followed up postoperatively for an average of 34 months. The results showed minimal pain, a low recurrence rate, rapid return to activity, and good cosmesis. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(2): 175–179, 2005)
Onychocryptosis is a common pathology treated by podiatry medical services, and in a considerable percentage, surgical procedures are required to achieve a solution. There are multiple surgical approaches for ingrown toenails, both incisional procedures and nonincisional procedures, such as chemical matrixectomies and physical matrixectomies using carbon dioxide laser. This study presents a surgical procedure for onychocryptosis using a physical matrixectomy with a 1064-nm laser applied by means of a 400-μm optical fiber and surgical removal of the posterior cauterized tissue to achieve healing by primary intention. This technique was performed on 30 patients with onychocryptosis affecting the great toe (Mozena stages I and IIa), and all of the patients were followed up postoperatively for 12 months. The patients reported minimal postoperative pain, quicker surgical postoperative healing, rapid return to activities of daily living, and minor postoperative recurrence compared with previous studies using incisional procedures and chemical matrixectomies.
After resection of bone or amputation, postoperative stump breakdown occurs frequently. Furthermore, the altered mechanics with ambulation are difficult to control with bracing and orthoses alone. During the past 10 years, the peroneus brevis tendon has been transferred to various locations in the foot after resection of the fifth metatarsal base in an effort to provide continued balance between the supinatory and pronatory forces needed for a steady gait. In patients who have had a peroneus brevis tendon transfer, the rate of postoperative ulceration and the need for further bony resection is minimal. Analysis of the biomechanical influences and effects of different anatomical placements of the transferred tendon reveals the importance of transfer of the peroneus brevis tendon. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(6): 594–603, 2004)
This article describes a proximal phalangeal osteotomy for the correction of abductus deformity of the hallux. The modification uses a Z-osteotomy, which retains the length of the hallux, corrects the abductus component, and provides excellent rigid internal fixation. This procedure may be used only in mild-to-moderate cases. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(4): 404–408, 2004)
Wound debridement, when systematically performed, may be as important as off-loading in reducing the prevalence of chronic inflammatory by-products in a wound and thus in converting a chronic wound into an acute one. Although it has been suggested that aggressive surgical debridement of wounds may be beneficial, there have been few, if any, technical descriptions of this aspect of therapy. It is therefore the purpose of this article to describe the general principles, process, and technique of outpatient surgical debridement of noninfected, nonischemic neuropathic diabetic foot wounds performed at the authors’ institutions. The authors hope to foster further discussion leading to improvement in the process and the prevalence of such debridement. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(7): 402-404, 2002)
A new technique for interposition arthroplasty of the first metatarsoplalangeal joint is described. It involves minimal resection of the base of the proximal phalanx and the use of a fascia lata allograft. The method is simple, safe, and easily reproducible. In selected cases it can offer restoration of pain-free motion in a nonsalvable joint. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(2): 160–163, 2008)