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- Author or Editor: Yolanda García-Álvarez x
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Background: The evaluation of musculoskeletal pain in podiatric medical practice is mainly based on anamnesis and manual examination. However, when manual palpation is performed, the digital pressure necessary to adequately explore the different structures of the foot is unknown. We evaluated the pressure pain threshold in forefoot structures to determine the intensity and duration of the stimulus as clinically relevant and representative.
Methods: In a transversal analytical study of 15 healthy individuals, 16 forefoot points were explored with a handheld pressure palpometer calibrated to exert maximum pressing force of 1.0 or 2.0 kilogram-force (kgf) applied during 5 or 10 sec. The combinations of the different pressures and intervals were selected randomly. Participants had to self-rate the pressure pain sensitivity of each stimuli on a 100-mm horizontal line (0–100 numeric rating scale), setting the pain threshold to 50 (100 being pain as bad as it could be). Likewise, aftersensation and referred pain patterns were recorded.
Results: All participants indicated painful stimuli at some of the 16 forefoot points studied in the experimental protocol when pressure was applied with the 2.0-kgf palpometer; 53.3% showed evidence of pain at any forefoot point when the 1.0-kgf palpometer was used. The odds of evoking a painful sensation are 9.8 times higher when using a 2.0-kgf palpometer versus a 1.0-kgf palpometer. In addition, referred sensations were observed with a significantly higher frequency when applying the 2.0-kgf palpometer.
Conclusions: Bone and soft structures show differences in pressure sensitivity, increasing significantly when applying higher pressure force. Soft structures, specifically intermetatarsal spaces, showed the lowest pain pressure thresholds. More research is needed to better understand pressure pain response.
A universally accepted histopathologic classification of diabetic foot osteomyelitis does not currently exist. We sought to evaluate the histopathologic characteristics of bone infection found in the feet of diabetic patients and to analyze the clinical variables related to each type of bone infection.
We conducted an observational prospective study of 165 diabetic patients with foot ulcers who underwent surgery for bone infection. Samples for microbiological and histopathologic analyses were collected in the operating room under sterile conditions.
We found four histopathologic types of osteomyelitis: acute osteomyelitis (n = 46; 27.9%), chronic osteomyelitis (n = 73; 44.2%), chronic acute osteomyelitis (n = 14; 8.5%), and fibrosis (n =32; 19.4%). The mean ± SD time between the initial detection of ulcer and surgery was 15.4 ± 23 weeks for acute osteomyelitis, 28.6 ± 22.4 weeks for chronic osteomyelitis, 35 ± 31.3 weeks for chronic acute osteomyelitis, and 27.5 ± 27.3 weeks for the fibrosis stage (analysis of variance: P = .03). Bacteria were isolated and identified in 40 of 46 patients (87.0%) with acute osteomyelitis, 61 of 73 (83.5%) with chronic osteomyelitis, 11 of 14 (78.6%) with chronic acute osteomyelitis, and 25 of 32 (78.1%) with fibrosis.
Histopathologic categorization of bone infections in the feet of diabetic patients should include four groups: acute, chronic, chronic acute, and fibrosis. We suggest that new studies should identify cases of fibrosis to allow comparison with the present results. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 103(1): 24–31, 2013)