Patients with diabetic neuropathy are subject to ulcerations that may be complicated by infection and gangrene, with subsequent risk of amputation. It is the job of the foot specialist to identify and manage these problems early to avoid the unfortunate complication of amputation regardless of the presenting condition of the patient’s limb. We shed light on the hypothesis that suggests that infection and gangrene in a diabetic patient aggravate the degree of ischemia (microvascular, macrovascular, or both) already present enough to endanger the viability of the surrounding tissues unless urgent drainage with decompression and debridement of the necrotic sloughs is performed, with consequent reduction of tissue pressure and improvement in circulation to the area. We present cases with severe infections leading to gangrene and ischemia, which were improved following surgical management with consequent improvement in tissue viability. In these cases, we demonstrate that immediate treatment of the wound despite the delayed presentation of the patients resulted in limb salvage with much less soft-tissue loss than expected before treatment. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(5): 454–458, 2009)
After resection of bone or amputation, postoperative stump breakdown occurs frequently. Furthermore, the altered mechanics with ambulation are difficult to control with bracing and orthoses alone. During the past 10 years, the peroneus brevis tendon has been transferred to various locations in the foot after resection of the fifth metatarsal base in an effort to provide continued balance between the supinatory and pronatory forces needed for a steady gait. In patients who have had a peroneus brevis tendon transfer, the rate of postoperative ulceration and the need for further bony resection is minimal. Analysis of the biomechanical influences and effects of different anatomical placements of the transferred tendon reveals the importance of transfer of the peroneus brevis tendon. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 94(6): 594–603, 2004)
Addressing pressure reduction in the treatment of diabetic foot wounds is a critical component of therapy. The total-contact cast has proven to be the gold standard of treatment because of its ability to reduce pressure and facilitate patient adherence to the off-loading regimen. Removable cast walkers have proven to be as effective as total-contact casts in pressure reduction, but this has not translated into equivalent time to healing. A simple technique to convert the removable cast walker into a device that is not as easily detached from the lower extremity, thereby encouraging the use of this device over a 24-hour period, is presented in this article. The procedure involves wrapping the cast walker with cohesive bandage or plaster of Paris. In the authors’ opinion, this technique addresses many of the disadvantages of the total-contact cast, resulting in an adequate compromise in this aspect of care. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(7): 405-408, 2002)
Wound debridement, when systematically performed, may be as important as off-loading in reducing the prevalence of chronic inflammatory by-products in a wound and thus in converting a chronic wound into an acute one. Although it has been suggested that aggressive surgical debridement of wounds may be beneficial, there have been few, if any, technical descriptions of this aspect of therapy. It is therefore the purpose of this article to describe the general principles, process, and technique of outpatient surgical debridement of noninfected, nonischemic neuropathic diabetic foot wounds performed at the authors’ institutions. The authors hope to foster further discussion leading to improvement in the process and the prevalence of such debridement. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(7): 402-404, 2002)
The soleal sling may be a site of tibial nerve entrapment. Objective diagnosis of this syndrome is difficult with current nerve conduction study techniques, magnetic resonance imaging, and neurosensory testing. Diagnostic ultrasound is ideally suited to visualize the tibial nerve statically and dynamically as it enters the soleal sling, thus making an objective diagnosis of soleal sling impingement much easier.
Phenol matrixectomy is commonly used to treat onychocryptosis. The podiatric medical community has been progressively improving the technique of phenol application to avoid cases of burns. We describe a modification that uses gauze to provide a safe way for the phenol to be applied and prevents skin lesions due to phenol burns. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(5): 418–421, 2008)