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.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Recent improved therapies have resulted in more patients surviving cancer and living longer. Despite these advances, the majority of patients will develop adverse events from anticancer therapies. Foot alterations, including nail toxicities, hand-foot syndrome, edema, xerosis, hyperkeratosis, and neuropathy, are frequent among cancer patients. These untoward conditions may negatively impact quality of life, and in some cases may result in the interruption or discontinuation of cancer treatments. Appropriate prevention, diagnosis, and management of podiatric adverse events are essential to maintain foot function and health-related quality of life, both of which are critical for the care of cancer patients and survivors. This article shows results related to complaint and impact on quality of life of the Oncology Foot Care program and reviews publications specific to podiatric adverse events related to cancer treatments.
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)
The coexistence of deformity of the nail bed and subungual exostosis (SE) is a frequent finding in podiatric practice in the fourth and fifth decades of life. However, it has been described by other specialists as being an uncommon osteocartilaginous tumor most prevalent during the second and third decades of life. This study attempts to determine the causes of this discrepancy.
Two authors independently conducted a systematic bibliographic review in multiple databases, podiatry sources and others, and key words were chosen to achieve a broad search strategy. Studies reporting on epidemiology and treatment of SE lesions in lower extremities in ten or more patients were selected. Initially, 197 articles were identified through database screening, with 23 meeting all inclusion and exclusion criteria. Seven articles with the ages of all of the patients were included in the analysis of age data. A comparison was then made between the diagnostic criteria for the selected 23 articles.
Model results reveal that, although there are some significant differences between individual studies, the main factor tested (patient's age) was clearly significant (F1,5.2 = 78.12, P < .001), showing that studies coming from the podiatry speciality were conducted on individuals with a mean age of 37 years higher than in studies from other specialties. Clinical and radiologic characteristics and treatment described in the podiatry literature also contrast with those in other specialties.
The SE described by podiatrists, in accordance with the parameters of true exostosis, is different from Dupuytren's SE and should be considered as a different pathologic entity. The authors are working on its histologic identification.
Foot and nail care specialists spend a great portion of their day using nail drills to reduce nail thickness and smooth foot calluses. This process generates a large amount of dust, some of which is small enough to breathe in and deposit into the deepest regions of the respiratory tract, potentially causing health problems. Foot and nail dust often contains fungi, from both fungus-infected and healthy-appearing nails. Although the majority of healthy individuals can tolerate inhaled fungi, the immune systems of older, immunocompromised, and allergy-prone individuals often react using the inflammatory T helper cell type 2 pathway, leading to mucus overproduction, bronchoconstriction, and, in severe cases, lung tissue damage. To protect vulnerable podiatry professionals, wearing a surgical mask, using a water spray suppression system on nail drills, installing air filtration systems, and considering drilling technique can help reduce exposure to nail dust.
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)
Morton's neuroma is a common condition that routinely presents in podiatric practice. The aim of this study was to systematically synthesize the evidence relating to the effectiveness of a corticosteroid injection for Morton's neuroma.
Studies with a publication date of 1960 or later were eligible, and searches were performed within the Turning Research Into Practice database; the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials; the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group Specialised Register; MEDLINE (Ovid); PubMed; Embase; Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature; and the gray literature. Study selection criteria included randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials where a single corticosteroid injection for Morton's neuroma pain was investigated. The primary outcome was Morton's neuroma pain as measured by any standard validated pain scale.
Ten studies involving 695 participants were included. The quality of the studies was considered low and subject to bias. Of the included studies, five compared corticosteroid injection to usual care, one compared corticosteroid injection to local anesthetic alone, one compared ultrasound-guided to non–ultrasound-guided injections, three compared corticosteroid injections to surgery, one compared small to large neuromas, six assessed patient satisfaction, four measured adverse events, one studied return to work, and one examined failure of the corticosteroid injection to improve pain. Overall, these studies identified a moderate short- to medium-term benefit of corticosteroid injections on the primary outcome of pain and a low adverse event rate.
A single corticosteroid injection appears to have a beneficial short- to medium-term effect on Morton's neuroma pain. It appears superior to usual care, but its superiority to local anaesthetic alone is questionable, and it is inferior to surgical excision. A very low adverse event rate was noted throughout the studies, indicating the intervention is safe when used for Morton's neuroma. However, the quality of the evidence is low, and these findings may change with further research.
A sclerotome is an anatomical concept that defines an area of bone supplied by a single spinal nerve. Similar to the familiar dermatomes, sclerotomes provide an element of depth to the sensory innervation of the lower extremity based on the deep fascia as an embryologic boundary. Anatomical knowledge of sclerotomes can be used clinically in the diagnosis and treatment of pain and in the perioperative setting. Specifically, a modified version of the classic Mayo block is presented to highlight an active anatomical approach to peripheral nerve blockade. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(3): 232–235, 2009)
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a progressive deformity that can result in the development of a pathologic flatfoot deformity. Numerous publications have studied the effects of clinical interventions at specific stages of progression of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, but there is still uncertainty regarding the clinical identification of the condition. It is clear that more information regarding the etiology, progression, and risk factors of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is required. Clear evidence exists that suggests that the quality of life for patients with posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is significantly affected. Furthermore, evidence suggests that early conservative intervention can significantly improve quality of life regarding disability, function, and pain. This would suggest that significant cost burden reductions could be made by improving awareness of the condition, which would improve early diagnosis. Early conservative intervention may help reduce the number of patients requiring surgery. This review focuses on the etiologic factors, epidemiologic features, and pathogenesis of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. It aims to analyze, discuss, and debate the current understanding of this condition using the available literature. In addition, there is a discussion of the evidence base surrounding disease characteristics associated with the different clinical stages of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 176–186, 2011)
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)