Background: Diabetes-related lower-extremity amputations are largely preventable. Eighty-five percent of amputations are preceded by a foot ulcer. Effective management of ulcers, which leads to healing, can prevent limb loss.
Methods: In a county hospital, we implemented a six-step approach to the diabetic limb at risk. We calculated the frequency and level of lower-extremity amputations for 12 months before and 12 months after implementation of the amputation prevention program. We also calculated the high-low amputation ratio for the years reviewed. The high-low amputation ratio is a quality measure for the success of amputation prevention measures and is calculated as the ratio of the number of high amputations (limb losses) over the number of low (partial foot) amputations.
Results: The frequency of total amputations increased from 24 in year 1 to 46 in year 2. However, the number of limb losses decreased from 7 to 2 (72%). The high-low amputation ratio decreased eightfold in 1 year, which serves as a marker for limb salvage success.
Conclusions: Improvement in care organization and multidisciplinary-centered protocols can substantially reduce limb losses. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(2): 101–104, 2010)
A traumatic amputation of a digit as a result of canine mastication and ingestion occurred in a 48-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. The injury occurred during sleep and was not felt by the patient. The dangers of sleeping with one’s canine for those with neuropathic wounds are presented, and the literature is reviewed. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(3): 275–276, 2011)
Surgical intervention for chronic deformities and ulcerations has become an important component in the management of patients with diabetes mellitus. Such patients are no longer relegated to wearing cumbersome braces or footwear for deformities that might otherwise be easily corrected. Although surgical intervention in these often high-risk individuals is not without risk, the outcomes are fairly predictable when patients are properly selected and evaluated. In this brief review, we discuss the rationale and indications for diabetic foot surgery, focusing on the surgical decompression of deformities that frequently lead to foot ulcers. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(5): 369–384, 2010)
Neuropathic symptoms in patients with diabetes occur commonly and are most often a consequence of the diabetes. Up to 10% of patients with diabetes and neuropathy have an etiology other than diabetes as a cause of their nerve dysfunction. Herein we present a case of vasculitic neuropathy initially misdiagnosed as diabetic neuropathy that led to separate amputations of two toes. This case emphasizes the importance of considering alternative, potentially treatable, causes of peripheral neuropathy in patients with diabetes. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(4): 322–325, 2008)