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The scope of podiatric practice has changed significantly in the past couple of decades. Despite the increased quality of training, many people outside of podiatry may not realize what our scope of practice entails.
We conducted a survey consisting of 10 items and asked internal medicine residents at Rush University Medical Center and patients whether they would feel comfortable consulting podiatrists, or being treated for each issue.
The results for residents are as follows: 1) toenail fungus, 35% yes and 65% no; 2) diabetic wound care, 87.5% yes and 12.5% no; 3) bunion surgery, 90% yes and 10% no; 4) ankle fracture surgery, 25% yes and 75% no; 5) calcaneal fracture surgery, 50% yes and 50% no; 6) tarsal tunnel nerve surgery, 62.5% yes and 37.5% no; 7) lower extremity arterial bypass, 5% yes and 95% no; 8) below-knee amputation, 5% yes and 95% no; 9) transmetatarsal amputation, 67.5% yes and 32.5% no; and 10) venous stasis wound care, 65% yes and 35% no. The results for patients are as follows: 1) toenail fungus, 72.5% yes and 27.5% no; 2) diabetic wound care, 70% yes and 30% no; 3) bunion surgery, 62.5% yes and 37.5% no; 4) ankle fracture surgery, 57.5% yes and 42.5% no; 5) calcaneal fracture surgery, 55% yes and 45% no; 6) tarsal tunnel nerve surgery, 50% yes and 50% no; 7) lower extremity arterial bypass, 32.5% yes and 67.5% no; 8) below-knee amputation, 27.5% yes and 72.5% no; 9) transmetatarsal amputation, 52.5% yes and 47.5% no; and 10) venous stasis wound care, 32.5% yes and 67.5% no.
Internal medicine residents and patients do not have an accurate perception of the scope of podiatric medicine. This proves that, as a profession, we need to raise awareness about what the podiatric scope of medicine actually entails.
Biochemical properties of the amniotic membrane help modulate inflammation and enhance soft-tissue healing. In controlled trials, the efficacy of dehydrated human amnion/chorion membrane (dHACM) allografts has been established. Our purpose is to describe our experience with using dHACM to treat nonhealing wounds of various etiologies.
We conducted a retrospective review of deidentified data from 117 consecutive patients treated in an outpatient clinic with dHACM allografts with wounds of various etiologies over 2 years. The decision to use advanced wound-care treatments is based on rate of healing observed after initiation of standard wound care and patient risk factors. Eligibility for treatments such as amniotic membrane allografts includes wounds without 50% reduction after 4 weeks, or earlier in patients deemed to be at high risk for nonhealing or with a history of chronic wounds. In micronized or sheet formulation, dHACM is applied to the wound weekly after sharp/mechanical debridement as necessary, and wound-care practices appropriate for wound type and location are continued.
Thirty-four percent of allograft recipients had diabetic foot ulcers, 25% had venous leg ulcers, 20% had surgical wounds, 14% had pressure ulcers, 6% had ischemic wounds, and 2% had traumatic wounds. Complete healing occurred in 91.1% of treated patients, with a mean ± SD number of weekly applications per healed wound of 5.1 ± 4.2.
In addition to wounds of diabetic origin, dHACM can significantly expedite healing in refractory wounds of varying etiologies.