High levels of occupational stress have been reported in podiatric physicians practicing in Australia. One possible stressor is the predominance of the treatment of aged patients with chronic disease in podiatric medical practice.
Forty podiatric physicians attending a regional podiatric medical conference were invited to participate in the research using a convenience sampling method. Podiatric physicians were asked to complete a survey examining occupational stress in general and specifically in relation to practice with older adults (defined as those older than 65 years).
The survey of sources of occupational stress among podiatrists identified patient demands and expectations as the most significant stressor in general and geriatric practice for the podiatric physician. The perceived limited clinical gains and chronic nature of the conditions in older patients was also ranked highly as a stressor.
Working with the elderly is a substantial part of podiatric medical practice and, as such, needs to be seen with a more positive attitude by many practitioners. The development of geriatric practice as a speciality within the profession may help raise the value of working with the elderly. This has implications for preparing podiatric physicians for practice with the geriatric population along with the need for strategies to avoid or minimize these work stressors.
Professional and occupational burnout is a recognized syndrome among healthcare professionals, although the point at which burnout begins is unclear. There is a dearth of research investigating burnout and occupational stress in relation to podiatric medicine, although two recent studies have reported high levels of burnout expressed by podiatric medical practitioners. This study was undertaken to compare the levels of burnout in newly qualified practitioners in Australia and the United Kingdom. The results suggest that levels of burnout are higher in these groups than indicated by the published normative medical data. Occupational stress was associated with lack of professional status and with geographic and professional isolation. Within these two themes, there were clear differences between the two groups. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(3): 282–291, 2004)
Sixteen subjects with hemophilia A of levels 1–5 stage of joint damage were tested over a 6-week period to evaluate the efficacy of functional foot orthoses. The level of ankle bleeds (hemarthrosis) before and after the intervention with functional foot orthoses was determined by evaluating pain, disability, and activity levels. All subjects reported a significant reduction of ankle bleeds coinciding with the intervention of functional foot orthoses. The use of a foot-pain disability measure clearly showed significant reduction in the level of pain experienced by the subjects and in their overall index score. However, the disability and activity index scores showed no significant improvement after the intervention with orthoses. This finding would support the use of functional foot orthoses to treat patients with hemophilia A, as significant reduction in pain levels appears to greatly improve the lives of the patients. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(5): 240-244, 2001)
Thirty subjects with type 1 diabetes, 30 subjects with type 2 diabetes, and 30 age- and sex-matched controls were evaluated through clinical goniometry and two-dimensional motion analysis systems to determine the dynamic and static range of motion of the knee, ankle, and hallux joints. The purpose of this study was to determine if the knee and ankle joints of patients with diabetes mellitus are affected by limited joint mobility syndrome. The study results support previous medical literature showing significant reduction of range of motion of the hallux in subjects with type 1 diabetes. Significant differences were found between the range of motion of male and female subjects in all lower-limb joints for both subject groups with diabetes compared to the control group, and male subjects in all groups recorded less range of motion than female subjects. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(3): 136-142, 2002)
Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is one of the fastest growing areas of health care. This has necessitated an increased awareness and understanding of CAM by conventional health professionals.
Methods: A questionnaire seeking information about use of and attitudes toward CAM was mailed to 1,365 Australian podiatric physicians.
Results: Ninety-one percent of Australian podiatric physicians surveyed have used at least one CAM therapy in the past 12 months, and 93% have treated patients with CAM or have recommended its use to patients. Overall, the respondents rated their knowledge of various CAM therapies as “average,” and responses on the CAM Health Belief Questionnaire indicated that respondents tended not to endorse CAM health beliefs, with statements about CAM therapies being seen as “a threat to public safety” and effects being “usually due to the placebo effect” producing the strongest responses.
Conclusions: Complementary and alternative medicine therapies are already being used in podiatric medical practice, and there are significant opportunities for further research into CAM education and clinical research relevant to podiatric medicine. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(2): 121–128, 2009)
Idiopathic toe-walking (ITW) is a condition commonly seen by podiatric physicians. Because a toe-walking gait style is also caused by or associated with many other medical conditions, podiatric physicians should pay particular attention to ensuring an accurate diagnosis. There are many reported treatment options available for ITW. Therefore, a literature review was conducted to determine what treatment options are supported by the evidence as having the best long-term effect on ITW gait.
After extraction of relevant articles, 21 manuscripts reporting treatment options for ITW gait were appraised against the levels of evidence.
From these articles, there was no single treatment option reported as having a long-term effect on the gait of children with ITW. There was support in the literature for surgical interventions, serial casting, and the use of botulinum toxin type A. There was limited evidence that footwear or orthoses changed the gait pattern.
This review updates the knowledge of podiatric physicians, enhances how children who present with this gait style can be managed, and highlights areas for future research.
We describe the effects of the Austin bunionectomy on plantar pressure distribution and radiographic measurements in the forefoot in 31 subjects (44 feet) with mild-to-moderate hallux valgus deformity and 36 control subjects (36 feet). Plantar pressure measurements before and 24 months after surgery showed peak pressure beneath the hallux reduced to normal values. Peak pressure measurements beneath the first, second, and third metatarsal heads in hallux valgus feet were relatively unchanged after surgery and remained higher than normal values. The operation produced significant decreases in mean preoperative radiographic measurements of hallux abductus, metatarsus primus varus, and first metatarsal protrusion distance in these patients to below-normal values. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(4): 357–365, 2005)
The lateral intermetatarsal angle, a measurement of the sagittal plane angular divergence between the dorsal cortices of the first and second metatarsals of lateral weightbearing foot radiographs, was compared in 30 normal and 30 hallux limitus feet. The results suggest that the angle may be measured reliably and that although the measured angles are relatively small, a significant difference exists between the normal and hallux limitus subjects studied. Accordingly, the lateral intermetatarsal angle may prove to be a useful radiographic measurement to assist the podiatric physician in the clinical assessment of hallux limitus. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(5): 251-254, 2001)
The effects of the Youngswick osteotomy on plantar peak pressure distribution in the forefoot are presented for 17 patients (23 feet) with mild-to-moderate hallux limitus deformity and 23 control subjects (23 feet). During 2 years of follow-up, the operation produced a significant increase in the range of dorsiflexion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint in these patients, reaching near-normal values. Preoperative and postoperative measurements, using a pressure-distribution measurement system, show that peak pressure beneath the hallux and the first metatarsal head remained unchanged. However, peak pressure was significantly increased beneath the second metatarsal head and decreased beneath the fifth metatarsal head. These findings suggest that the foot functioned in a less inverted manner postoperatively. Compared with normal feet, hallux limitus feet demonstrated significantly higher peak pressure beneath the fourth metatarsal head preoperatively and postoperatively. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(1): 22-30, 2004)
A newly developed clinical method of indexing tibial torsion uses the medial surface of the tibia as the proximal reference; however, the selection of a specific landmark on the medial surface has not been justified. Three different surfaces relating to the tibial tuberosity were tested using 24 dry tibial bones to determine which provides the most accurate and reliable landmark for use as the proximal reference. The medial surface of the tibia at the inferior point of the tibial tuberosity was the most reliable proximal reference that yielded the highest level of association between the newly developed clinical method and true tibial torsion (r = 0.77). The new method has the potential to describe the anatomy of the leg and to improve the clinical measurement of tibiofibular torsion. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(5): 481–485, 2005)