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.
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.
Remote ischemic conditioning involves the use of a blood pressure cuff or similar device to induce brief (3–5 min) episodes of limb ischemia. This, in turn, seems to activate a group of distress signals that has shown the potential ability to improve healing of the heart muscle and other organ systems. Until recently, this has not been tested in people with diabetic foot ulcers. The purpose of this review was to provide background on remote ischemic conditioning and recent data to potentially support its use as an adjunct to healing diabetic foot ulcers and other types of tissue loss. We believe that this inexpensive therapy has the potential to be deployed and incorporated into a variety of other therapies to prime patients for healing and to reduce morbidity in patients with this common, complex, and costly complication.
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that targets several tissues and organs and plays an important role in calcium homeostasis. Vitamin D deficiency is common, particularly at higher latitudes, where there is reduced exposure to ultraviolet B radiation. We reviewed the role of vitamin D and its deficiency in foot and ankle pathology.
The effects of vitamin D deficiency have been extensively studied, but only a small portion of the literature has focused on the foot and ankle. Most evidence regarding the foot and ankle consists of retrospective studies, which cannot determine whether vitamin D deficiency is, in fact, the cause of the pathologies being investigated.
The available evidence suggests that insufficient vitamin D levels may result in an increased incidence of foot and ankle fractures. The effects of vitamin D deficiency on fracture healing, bone marrow edema syndrome, osteochondral lesions of the talus, strength around the foot and ankle, tendon disorders, elective foot and ankle surgery, and other foot and ankle conditions are less clear.
Based on the available evidence, we cannot recommend routine testing or supplementation of vitamin D in patients with foot and ankle pathology. However, supplementation is cheap, safe, and may be of benefit in patients at high risk for deficiency. When vitamin D is supplemented, the evidence suggests that calcium should be co-supplemented. Further high-quality research is needed into the effect of vitamin D in the foot and ankle. Cost-benefit analyses of routine testing and supplementation of vitamin D for foot and ankle pathology are also required.
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.
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.
Because of the ubiquitous nature of dermatophytes and a lack of an adaptive immune response in the nail plate, recurrence and relapse rates associated with superficial fungal infections are high (10%–53%). Cured or improved dermatophytosis patients could become reinfected if exposed to fungal reservoirs, such as an infected shoe, sock, or textile. To prevent this, footwear, sock, and textile sanitization methods can be used. To provide insight into effective sanitization options, the focus of this article is to review footwear, sock, and textile sanitization studies conducted throughout history (1920–2016). Thirty-three studies are covered in this review, encompassing techniques ranging from formaldehyde fumigation and foot powder application, to more modern approaches such as UV light and silver-light irradiation technologies. Older sanitization methods (eg, boiling, use of chlorine and salts) are quite limited in their practicality, as they can result in health complications and ruin shoe integrity. Newer approaches to shoe and sock sanitization, such as ozone application and UV irradiation, have shown very promising results. Further research is still needed with these modern techniques, as knowledge gaps and cost prevent the creation of standardized parameters for successful use. By combining sanitization methods with other preventative measures, protection against reinfection may be enhanced.
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)
Studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of dehydrated human amnion chorion membrane (dHACM) in treating recalcitrant diabetic foot ulcers. A literature search was performed to review the data collected from the use of dHACM allografts. Two products were explicitly named in these publications, EpiFix and AmnioBand Membrane. Relevant results included the healing rate, number of wounds healed, and number of grafts used. Data had supported the potential of lowering the overall cost to manage a wound despite a relatively higher cost per dressing. However, discrepancy was observed in the rate of healing between several of the studies. Nonetheless, dHACM had demonstrated improvement in healing of recalcitrant diabetic foot ulcers compared to standard of care alone. These results provide grounds for more inclusive research on dHACM in the future.
There are many theoretical models that attempt to accurately and consistently link kinematic and kinetic information to musculoskeletal pain and deformity of the foot. Biomechanical theory of the foot lacks a consensual model: clinicians are enticed to draw from numerous paradigms, each having different levels of supportive evidence and contrasting methods of evaluation, in order to engage in clinical deduction and treatment planning. Contriving to find a link between form and function lies at the heart of most of these competing theories and the physical nature of the discipline has prompted an engineering approach. Physics is of great importance in biology and helps us to model the forces that the foot has to deal with in order for it to work effectively. However, the tissues of the body have complex processes that are in place to protect them and they are variable between individuals. Research is uncovering why these differences exist and how these processes are governed. The emerging explanations for adaptability of foot structure and musculoskeletal homeostasis offer new insights into how clinical variation in outcomes and treatment effects might arise. These biological processes underlie how variation in the performance and use of common traits, even within apparently similar subgroups, make anatomical distinction less meaningful and are likely to undermine the justification of a “foot type.” Furthermore, mechanobiology introduces a probabilistic element to morphology based on genetic and epigenetic factors.