The author takes the position that a mandatory fifth postgraduate year to serve as a uniform period of clinical education for podiatric medical graduates is unnecessary. A need exists to define primary podiatric medicine as the entry level podiatric medical field of practice. The colleges of podiatric medicine are urged to deemphasize podiatric surgery while placing greater emphasis on primary podiatric care. The author believes that the colleges are responsible for preparing primary podiatric medical practitioners. Residency programs should focus on specialty training in podiatric surgery and podiatric orthopedics.
Twenty-seven pedal soft tissue and bone infections in 26 patients were treated with surgical necrectomy of infected tissues and implantation of antibiotic-loaded polymethyl methacrylate bone cement beads on chains. The definitive diagnosis of the infected tissues was obtained by culture and histologic examination in all of the cases. A wide variety of foot infections was successfully treated in this manner. The success rate without recurrence of osteomyelitis or soft tissue infection was 95% in this study at an average of 16 months after surgery.
The authors presented an overview of the development of antibiotic-loaded bone cement beads and their indications for usage, method of application, advantages, disadvantages, and causes of failure. This method of treatment for bone and soft tissue infections of the foot is not a panacea and should be used only in selected cases. The vascular status and the physiologic ability of the patient to heal a peripheral wound or infection are the basis for the success of this method of therapy. European literature makes little mention of adjunctive systemic antibiotic therapy with local antibiotic-loaded bone cement bead use. It is the authors' opinion that clinical judgment should be used to determine the necessity for such therapy.
Analgesic medications are distributed to a variety of receptors within the central nervous system. Activity at these receptors (mu 1, mu, sigma, delta, kappa) results in both the beneficial pain-relieving effects of analgesics as well as undesirable side effects. The mixed agonist-antagonist class of analgesics offers the potential benefit of greater receptor site selectivity while diminishing the incidence of adverse sequelae, such as respiratory depression. Traditionally, it has been suggested that mixed agonist-antagonist medications may be associated with decreased analgesic effectiveness. However, newer agents of this mixed class may result in effective analgesia while diminishing the incidence of side effects.
Avascular necrosis of bone is a common manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus, particularly in those patients receiving corticosteroids. The authors review the pathogenesis and diagnosis of avascular necrosis and describe an ankle arthrodesis in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus who developed avascular necrosis of the talus.
Prescription medications are thought to cause less than 1% of all congenital abnormalities. However, prescribing a medication to treat the foot disorder of a pregnant patient can be a source of anxiety for the physician. The authors review some of the medications commonly prescribed in podiatric medical practice and evaluate their use and safety during pregnancy.
The authors evaluated regional skin temperatures of the foot following the administration of a variety of local anesthetic nerve blocks with either Xylocaine (lidocaine hydrochloride) or Sensorcaine (bupivacaine hydrochloride). The study was carried out on ten randomized parallel groups of five subjects, each group being tested with one drug and one regional nerve block. The results indicated that both Xylocaine and Sensorcaine, when administered as a posterior tibial block, result in a significantly increased blood flow to the foot. Nerve blockade of the remaining nerves of the foot did not significantly increase the sympatholytic effect obtained by posterior tibial nerve block alone.