The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recognize the beneficial impact of a multidisciplinary team approach on the care of patients with critical limb ischemia, especially in the diabetic population. As a first step in identifying clinical issues and questions important to both memberships, and to work together to find solutions that will benefit the shared patient, the two organizations appointed a representative group to write a joint statement on the importance of multidisciplinary team approach to the care of the diabetic foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(4): 309–311, 2010)
Endovascular therapy has increasingly become the initial clinical option for the treatment of lower-extremity peripheral arterial occlusive disease not only for patients with claudication but also for those with critical limb ischemia. Despite this major clinical practice paradigm shift, the outcomes of endovascular therapy for peripheral arterial disease are difficult to evaluate and compare with established surgical benchmarks because of the lack of prospective randomized trials, incomplete characterization of indications for intervention, mixing of arterial segments and extent of disease treated, the multiplicity of endovascular therapy techniques used, the exclusion of early treatment failures, crossover to open bypass during follow-up, and the frequent lack of intermediate and long-term patency and limb salvage rates in life-table format. These data limitations are especially problematic when one tries to assess the outcomes of endovascular therapy in patients with diabetes. The purpose of the present article is to succinctly review and objectively analyze available data regarding the results of endovascular therapy in patients with diabetes. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 424–428, 2010)
Surgical revascularization of the lower extremity using bypass grafts to distal target arteries is an established, effective therapy for advanced ischemia. Recent multicenter data confirm the primacy of autogenous vein bypass grafting, yet there remains significant heterogeneity in the utilization, techniques, and outcomes associated with these procedures in current practice. Experienced clinical judgment, creativity, technical precision, and fastidious postoperative care are required to optimize long-term results. The diabetic patient with a critically ischemic limb offers some specific challenges; however, numerous studies demonstrate that the outcomes of vein bypass surgery in this population are excellent and define the standard of care. Technical factors, such as conduit and inflow/outflow artery selection, play a dominant role in determining clinical success. An adequate-caliber, good-quality great saphenous vein is the optimal graft for distal bypass in the leg. Alternative veins perform acceptably in the absence of the great saphenous vein, whereas prosthetic and other nonautogenous conduits have markedly inferior outcomes. Graft configuration (reversed, nonreversed, or in situ) seems to have little effect on outcome. Shorter grafts have improved patency. Inflow can be improved by surgical or endovascular means if necessary, and distal-origin grafts (eg, those arising from the superficial femoral or popliteal arteries) can perform as well as those originating from the common femoral artery. The selected outflow vessel should supply unimpeded runoff to the foot, conserve conduit length, and allow for adequate soft-tissue coverage of the graft and simplified surgical exposure. This review summarizes the available data linking patient selection and technical factors to outcomes and highlights the importance of surgical judgment and operative planning in the current practice of infrainguinal bypass surgery. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 429–438, 2010)
At the end of an anatomical peninsula, the foot in diabetes is prone to short- and long-term complications involving neuropathy, vasculopathy, and infection. Effective management requires an interdisciplinary effort focusing on this triad. Herein, we describe the key factors leading to foot complications and the critical skill sets required to assemble a team to care for them. Although specific attention is given to a conjoined model involving podiatric medicine and vascular surgery, the so-called toe and flow model, we further outline three separate programmatic models of care—basic, intermediate, and center of excellence—that can be implemented in the developed and developing world. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 342–348, 2010)
The timely and accurate noninvasive assessment of peripheral arterial disease is a critical component of a limb preservation initiative in patients with diabetes mellitus. Noninvasive vascular studies can be useful in screening patients with diabetes for peripheral arterial disease. In patients with clinical signs or symptoms, noninvasive vascular studies provide crucial information on the presence, location, and severity of peripheral arterial disease and an objective assessment of the potential for primary healing of an index wound or a surgical incision. Appropriately selected noninvasive vascular studies are important in the decision-making process to determine whether and what type of intervention might be most appropriate given the clinical circumstances. Hemodynamic monitoring is likewise important after either an endovascular procedure or a surgical bypass. Surveillance studies, usually with a combination of physiologic testing and imaging with duplex ultrasound, accurately identify recurrent disease before the occurrence of thrombosis, allowing targeted reintervention. Noninvasive vascular studies can be broadly grouped into three general categories: physiologic or hemodynamic measurements, anatomical imaging, and measurements of tissue perfusion. These types of tests and suggestions for their appropriate application in patients with diabetes are reviewed. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 406–411, 2010)
In 2007, the treatment of diabetes and its complications in the United States generated at least $116 billion in direct costs; at least 33% of these costs were linked to the treatment of foot ulcers. Although the team approach to diabetic foot problems is effective in preventing lower-extremity amputations, the costs associated with implementing a diabetic-foot–care team are not well understood. An analysis of these costs provides the basis for this report.
Diabetic foot problems impose a major economic burden, and costs increase disproportionately to the severity of the condition. Compared with diabetic patients without foot ulcers, the cost of care for those with foot ulcers is 5.4 times higher in the year after the first ulcer episode and 2.8 times higher in the second year. Costs for treating the highest-grade ulcers are 8 times higher than are those for treating low-grade ulcers. Patients with diabetic foot ulcers require more frequent emergency department visits and are more commonly admitted to the hospital, requiring longer lengths of stay. Implementation of the team approach to manage diabetic foot ulcers in a given region or health-care system has been reported to reduce long-term amputation rates 62% to 82%. Limb salvage efforts may include aggressive therapy such as revascularization procedures and advanced wound-healing modalities. Although these procedures are costly, the team approach gradually leads to improved screening and prevention programs and earlier interventions and, thus, seems to reduce long-term costs.
To date, aggressive limb preservation management for patients with diabetic foot ulcers has not usually been paired with adequate reimbursement. It is essential to direct efforts in patient-caregiver education to allow early recognition and management of all diabetic foot problems and to build integrated pathways of care that facilitate timely access to limb salvage procedures. Increasing evidence suggests that the costs of implementing diabetic foot teams can be offset in the long term by improved access to care and reductions in foot complications and amputation rates. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 335–341, 2010)
The utility of wound debridement has expanded to include the management of all chronic wounds, even in the absence of infection and gross necrosis. Biofilms, metalloproteases on the wound base, and senescent cells at the wound edge irreversibly change the physiologic features of wound healing and contribute to a pathologic, chronic inflammatory environment. The objective of this review is to provide surgeons with a basic understanding of the processes of debridement in the noninfected wound. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 353–359, 2010)
Wound repair and regeneration is a highly complex combination of matrix destruction and reorganization. Although major hurdles remain, advances during the past generation have improved the clinician’s armamentarium in the medical and surgical management of this problem. The purpose of this article is to review the current literature regarding the pragmatic use of three of the most commonly used advanced therapies: bioengineered tissue, negative-pressure wound therapy, and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, with a focus on the near-term future of wound healing, including stem cell therapy. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 385–394, 2010)
This historical perspective highlights some of the pioneers, milestones, teams, and system changes that have had a major impact on management of the diabetic foot during the past 100 years. In 1934, American diabetologist Elliott P. Joslin noted that mortality from diabetic coma had fallen from 60% to 5% after the introduction of insulin, yet deaths from diabetic gangrene of the lower extremity had risen significantly. He believed that diabetic gangrene was preventable. His remedy was a team approach that included foot care, diet, exercise, prompt treatment of foot infections, and specialized surgical care.
The history of the team approach to management of the diabetic foot chronicles the rise of a new health profession—podiatric medicine and surgery—and emergence of the specialty of vascular surgery. The partnership among the diabetologist, vascular surgeon, and podiatric surgeon is a natural one. The complementary skills and knowledge of each can improve limb salvage and functional outcomes. Comprehensive multidisciplinary foot-care programs have been shown to increase quality of care and reduce amputation rates by 36% to 86%. Development of distal revascularization techniques to restore pulsatile blood flow to the foot has also been a major advancement.
Patients with diabetic foot complications are among the most complex and vulnerable of all patient populations. Specialized diabetic foot clinics of the 21st century should be multidisciplinary and equipped to coordinate diagnosis, off-loading, and preventive care; to perform revascularization procedures; to aggressively treat infections; and to manage medical comorbidities. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 317–334, 2010)
Precise comprehensive imaging of arterial circulation is the cornerstone of successful revascularization of the ischemic extremity in patients with diabetes mellitus. Arterial imaging is challenging in these patients because the disease is often multisegmental, with a predilection for the distal tibial and peroneal arteries. Occlusive lesions and the arterial wall itself are often calcified, and patients with ischemic complications frequently have underlying renal insufficiency. Intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography, contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance angiography, and, more recently, computed tomographic angiography have been used as imaging modalities in lower-extremity ischemia. Each modality has specific advantages and shortcomings in this patient population, which are summarized and contrasted in this review. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 412–423, 2010)