The purpose of this manuscript is to provide a current concept review on the diagnosis and management of diabetic foot infections which are among the most serious and frequent complications encountered in patients with diabetes mellitus. A literature review on diabetic foot infections with emphasis on pathophysiology, identifiable risk factors, evaluation including physical examination, laboratory values, treatment strategies and assessing the severity of infection has been performed in detail. Diabetic foot infections are associated with high morbidity and risk factors for failure of treatment and classification systems are also described. Most diabetic foot infections begin with a wound and once an infection occurs, the risk of hospitalization and amputation increases dramatically. Early identification of infection and prompt treatment may optimize the patient's outcome and provide limb salvage.
diabetic foot infection; ulcer; guidelines; surgery
Minor amputations in diabetic patients with foot complications have been well studied in the literature but controversy still remains as to what constitutes successful or non-successful limb salvage. In addition, there is a lack of consensus on the definition of a minor or distal amputation and a major or proximal amputation for the diabetic population. In this article, the authors review the existing literature to evaluate the efficacy of minor amputations in this selected group of patients in terms of diabetic limb salvage and also propose several definitions regarding diabetic foot amputations.
diabetic foot infections; amputations; diabetic neuropathy
The decision, whether to amputate or reconstruct a mangled extremity remains the subject of extensive debate since multiple factors influence the decision.
Sixty three patients with high energy extremity trauma and attempts at limb salvage were retrospectively reviewed. We analyzed 10 cases of massive extremity trauma where there was made an attempt to salvage limbs, although there was a controversy between salvage and amputation.
All of the patients except one had major vascular injury and ischemia requiring repair. Three patients died. All of the remaining patients were amputated within 15 days after the salvage procedure, mainly because of extremity sepsis. Seven patients required treatment at the intensive care unit. All patients had at least 2 reconstruction procedures and multiple surgical debridements.
The functional outcome should be considered realistically before a salvage decision making for extremities with indeterminate prognosis.
BACKGROUND: Advancements in vascular and microsurgery in developed countries have led to fewer major limb amputations. AIM: This audit of major limb amputations performed at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria, between June 1998 and May 2003, was conducted to find out the indications for amputation and highlight those cases that could be salvageable. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective study. Case notes of all patients who had major limb amputations were examined for patients' age, sex, time of presentation, limb affected, indications for amputation, the severity of crush injury to limb, stage of musculoskeletal tumors and Wagner's grade of diabetic foot. RESULTS: A total of 71 limbs were amputated in 69 patients; 56 limbs (78.1%) were unsalvageable, while 15 limbs (21.1%) were salvageable. Trauma accounted for 76% followed by 22% performed due to gangrene secondary to diabetes mellitus. Out of the 56 unsalvageable limbs, 31 patients presented with severely crushed limbs. Out of the 15 salvageable limbs, there were 11 cases of clean-cut traumatic amputations, two of soft-tissue sarcoma and one each of ruptured popliteal aneurysm and stenosed popliteal artery. CONCLUSION: Trauma and diabetes mellitus were leading indications for amputation. Expertise in limb salvage procedures and availability of appropriate equipment may reduce the numbers of amputations performed.
Causes of limb amputations vary between and within countries. In Kenya, reports on prevalence of diabetic vascular amputations are conflicting. Kikuyu Hospital has a high incidence of diabetic foot complications whose relationship with amputation is unknown. This study aimed to describe causes of limb amputations in Kikuyu Hospital, Kenya. Records of all patients who underwent limb amputation between October 1998 and September 2008 were examined for cause, age and gender. Data were analysed using the statistical package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows Version 11.50. One hundred and forty patients underwent amputation. Diabetic vasculopathy accounted for 11.4% of the amputations and 69.6% of the dysvascular cases. More prevalent causes were trauma (35.7%), congenital defects (20%), infection (14.3%) and tumours (12.8%). Diabetic vasculopathy, congenital defects and infection are major causes of amputation. Control of blood sugar, foot care education, vigilant infection control and audit of congenital defects are recommended.
Diabetic foot ulcers occur in approximately 2,5% of patients suffering from diabetes and may lead to major infections and amputation. Such ulcers are responsible for a prolonged period of hospitalization and co- morbidities caused by infected diabetic foot ulcers. Small, superficial ulcers can be treated by special conservative means. However, exposed bones or tendons require surgical intervention in order to prevent osteomyelitis. In many cases reconstructive surgery is necessary, sometimes in combination with revascularization of the foot.
There are studies on non surgical treatment of the diabetic foot ulcer. Most of them include patients, classified Wagner 1-2 without infection. Patients presenting Wagner 3D and 4D however are at a higher risk of amputation. The evolution of microsurgery has extended the possibilities of limb salvage. Perforator based flaps can minimize the donorsite morbidity.
Patients and Methods
41 patients were treated with free tissue transfer for diabetic foot syndrome and chronic defects. 44 microvascular flaps were needed. The average age of patients was 64.3 years. 18 patients needed revascularization. 3 patients needed 2 microvascular flaps. In 6 cases supramicrosurgical technique was used.
There were 2 flap losses leading to amputation. 4 other patients required amputation within 6 months postoperatively due to severe infection or bypass failure. Another 4 patients died within one year after reconstruction. The remaining patients were ambulated.
Large defects of the foot can be treated by free microvascular myocutaneous or fasciocutaneous tissue transfer. If however, small defects, exposing bones or tendons, are not eligible for local flaps, small free microvascular flaps can be applied. These flaps cause a very low donor site morbidity. Arterialized venous flaps are another option for defect closure.
Amputation means reduction of quality of life and can lead to an increased mortality postoperatively.
Diabetes is an important risk factor for atherosclerosis. The diabetic foot is characterized by the presence of arteriopathy and neuropathy. The vascular damage includes non-occlusive microangiopathy and macroangiopathy. Diabetic foot wounds are responsible for 5–10% of the cases of major or minor amputations. In fact, the risk of amputation of the lower limbs is 15–20% higher in diabetic populations than in the general population. The University of Texas classification is the reference classification for diabetic wounds. It distinguishes non-ischemic wounds from ischemic wounds which are associated with a higher rate of amputation. The first principles of treatment are the control of pain of an eventual infection. When ischemia is diagnosed, restoration of pulsatile blood flow by revascularization may be considered for salvaging the limb. The treatment options are angioplasty with or without stenting and surgical bypass or hybrid procedures combining the two. Distal reconstructions with anastomosis to the leg or pedal arteries have satisfactory limb-salvage rates. Subintimal angioplasty is a more recent endovascular technique. It could be suggested for elderly patients who are believed to be unsuitable candidates for a conventional bypass or angioplasty. The current article would focus on the various revascularization procedures.
Angioplasty; Bypass; Diabetes; Revascularization
Foot ulceration is a major cause of morbidity amongst patients with diabetes. In severe cases of ulceration, osteomyelitis and amputation can ensue. A distinct lack of agreement exists on the most appropriate level of amputation in cases of severe foot ulceration/infection to provide predictable healing rates. This paper provides an overview of the transmetatarsal amputation (TMA) as a limb salvage procedure and is written with the perspective and experiences of the Department of Podiatric Surgery at West Middlesex University Hospital (WMUH). We have reflected on the cases of 11 patients (12 feet) and have found the TMA to be an effective procedure in the management of cases of severe forefoot ulceration and infection.
Over a 5-year period 68 diabetic patients underwent 102 primary partial amputations of the foot for infected diabetic gangrene. Seventy (69%) of these operations healed without further local surgery, but five patients needed seven femoropopliteal bypass grafts (two bilateral) to achieve healing. In total, 32 primary operations needed revision by further surgery to the foot or by leg amputation. Of the original operations 31% were carried out by a consultant surgeon; the rest (69%) were performed by a junior surgeon. By contrast, only four of the 32 operations needing revision (12%) had originally been done by a consultant, whereas 28/32 (88%) had been carried out by a junior surgeon. Of limbs at risk 65/80 (81%) were salvaged. Five patients died during their hospital admission, giving an overall mortality of 7%.
Objective: People with diabetes are prone to develop lower-extremity ulcerations and infections, both of which serve as major risk factors for limb amputation. The development of lower-extremity complications of diabetes is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Recently, there has been increasing interest in the development of interdisciplinary teams to manage the myriad factors that complicate the treatment of high-risk patients, particularly in the perihospitalization period. Methods: This article presents 7 essential skills that necessarily allow the limb salvage team to appropriately manage the most common presenting comorbidities in patients with diabetes, including vasculopathy, infection, and deformity. Results: Seven essentials skills have been demonstrated to promote the greatest salvage outcomes, and these are the ability to (1) perform hemodynamic and anatomic vascular assessment with revascularization, as necessary; (2) perform neurologic workup; (3) perform site-appropriate culture technique; (4) perform wound assessment and staging/grading of infection and ischemia; (5) perform site-specific bedside and intraoperative incision and debridement; (6) initiate and modify culture-specific and patient-appropriate antibiotic therapy; and (7) perform appropriate postoperative monitoring to reduce risk of reulceration and infection. Conclusions: Utilization of these 7 essential skills as the core basis for interdisciplinary limb salvage team models will provide clinicians guidance when establishing such teams. Interdisciplinary teams have been demonstrated to improve quality and efficiency of patient care, thus improving overall outcomes and reducing amputation rates.
Functional hand reconstruction following treatment of soft tissue sarcomas (STS) is a difficult surgical problem. Because survival rates between amputation and limb salvage do not differ, there is a trend toward reconstruction. Unlike amputation, hand salvage usually requires multiple complex operations in combination with adjuvant radiation or chemotherapy, prolonged rehabilitation, and carries a high complication rate. We investigated tumor recurrence, survival, and scored functional outcomes to determine if limb salvage is justified after hand STS resection. Patients treated for hand STS between years 1985 and 2005 were reviewed by two surgeons in three medical centers. All patients having functional reconstruction instead of amputation were reviewed. Patient demographics, tumor type and grade, resection extent, reconstruction procedure, timing, adjuvant therapy use, complications, tumor recurrence, survival, and functional outcome were recorded and analyzed. Five patients underwent functional reconstruction for hand STS. All patients underwent attempted curative resections, and four patients received neoadjuvant or postoperative radiation therapy. Three patients received adjuvant chemotherapy. Reconstructive techniques included three modified pollicizations, one free-tissue transfer, and one groin flap. All patients were alive and disease-free at a mean follow-up of 5 years (range 1.5–17 years). Three patients (60%) had local complications, requiring secondary surgeries. Two complications were related to radiation therapy. Hand function was evaluated using the Enneking Scoring System, and ranged from 17 to 28. The average Enneking score was 22.4, representing an average preservation of 74.6% of function. Because most patients retain excellent function and survival is unaffected, we advocate functional reconstruction despite high complication rates.
Limb salvage; Hand surgery; Enneking score
Diabetic foot ulceration is a major complication of diabetes and afflicts as many as 15 to 25% of type 1 and 2 diabetes patients during their lifetime. If untreated, diabetic foot ulcers may become infected and require total or partial amputation of the affected limb. Early identification of tissue at risk of ulcerating could enable proper preventive care, thereby reducing the incidence of foot ulceration. Furthermore, noninvasive assessment of tissue viability around already formed ulcers could inform the diabetes caregiver about the severity of the wound and help assess the need for amputation. This article reviews how hyperspectral imaging between 450 and 700 nm can be used to assess the risk of diabetic foot ulcer development and to predict the likelihood of healing noninvasively. Two methods are described to analyze the in vivo hyperspectral measurements. The first method is based on the modified Beer-Lambert law and produces a map of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin concentrations in the dermis of the foot. The second is based on a two-layer optical model of skin and can retrieve not only oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin concentrations but also epidermal thickness and melanin concentration along with skin scattering properties. It can detect changes in the diabetic foot and help predict and understand ulceration mechanisms.
diabetic foot ulcer; hyperspectral imaging; tissue oximetry; wound care
Crush injuries of the foot are one of the most difficult and challenging tasks for a trauma surgeon to manage in terms of limb salvage and provision of a painless functional foot. Injuries to the foot, especially the hindfoot, account for almost 24.6% of all the warfare injuries in Afghanistan, of which more than 70% end in amputation for various reasons. We devised a method using the principles of Ilizarov’s distraction osteosynthesis to salvage limbs with bony defects in the hindfoot which otherwise were candidates for amputation. The procedure is done in two stages. Initially, the ring fixator is applied for the soft tissue reconstruction and infection control, and the next stage consists of percutaneous “inverted L”-shaped osteotomy in the posterior half of the lower tibia. The study included 32 patients with hindfoot crush injuries involving talus, calcaneum, a combination of both, or even involving the adjacent tarsal bones. All these crush injuries were classified using the Gustilo and Anderson classification. The postoperative functional assessment of the feet was done using the Maryland Foot Score system with a minimum follow-up of four years. We had good results in 53%, fair in 34% and failure in 13% of our cases. The complications of this procedure were the same as with the use of the ring fixator elsewhere in the body. This method provides a technique to salvage the foot and produce a painless, stable, fused foot in one of the most difficult settings of a hindfoot crush injury.
Amputation has been the standard surgical treatment for distal tibia osteosarcoma. Advances in surgery and chemotherapy have made limb salvage possible. However, it is unclear whether limb salvage offers any improvement in function without compromising survival.
We therefore compared the survival, local recurrence, function, and complications of patients with distal tibia osteosarcoma treated with limb salvage or amputation.
We retrospectively reviewed 42 patients with distal tibia osteosarcoma treated from 1985 to 2010. Nineteen patients had amputations and 23 had limb salvage and allograft reconstructions. We graded the histology using Broders classification, and staged patients using the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) and American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) systems. The tumor grades tended to be higher in the group of patients who had amputations. We determined survival, local recurrence, MSTS function, and complications. The minimum followup was 8 months (median, 60 months; range, 8–288 months).
The survival of patients who had limb salvage was similar to that of patients who had amputations: 84% at 120 and 240 months versus 74%, respectively. The incidence of local recurrence was similar: three of 23 patients who had limb salvage versus no patients who had amputations. The mean MSTS functional score tended to be higher in patients who had limb salvage compared with those who had amputations: 76% (range, 30%–93%) versus 71% (range, 50%–87%), respectively. The incidence of complications was similar.
Patients treated with either limb salvage or amputation experience similar survival, local recurrence, and complications, but better function is achievable for patients treated with limb salvage versus amputation. Local recurrence and complications are more common in patients with limb salvage.
Level of Evidence
Level III, retrospective comparative study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Purpose: To compare angiograms, considered the gold standard for diagnostic imaging of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), to the corresponding histological sections of popliteal and tibial vessels obtained after amputation to determine if angiography fails to define atheroma burden in “normal appearing” arteries in patients with PAD.
Methods: Between 2004 and 2006, 69 patients underwent amputation of a lower extremity for severe tissue loss, gangrene, or pedal sepsis precluding limb salvage. Popliteal and tibial vessels were harvested, perfusion-fixed, and analyzed histologically. Thirty-four of these patients had pre-amputation angiography during attempted salvage procedures. Angiograms with patent or minimally diseased vessel segments (n = 19) were assessed for stenoses, diameter, and calcification by 3 vascular surgeons (n = 72 evaluations). These results were compared to corresponding cross-sectional histological slides (n = 66) in a blinded manner.
Results: Angiograms performed prior to above-knee (n = 9) or below-knee (n = 10) amputation revealed 24 stenoses with a mean (±SD) diameter-reducing stenosis of 19.5%±15.2%. Corresponding histological cross sections revealed greater linear stenoses measured via boundaries of the internal elastic lamina (IEL stenosis, 28.9%±20.2%, p = 0.003 versus angiography) or via boundaries of the external elastic membrane (vessel stenosis, 43.1%±15.2%, p<0.0001). Stenosis calculated by area methods (IEL area) were greater and measured 39.2%±24.2% (p<0.0001) and 60.9%±15.2% (vessel area, p<0.0001). Popliteal arteries had greater discrepancy in stenosis measurement than tibial arteries (18.5%±14.6% versus 34.9%±21.0%, p = 0.0005). However, evaluations of tibial arteries for concentricity of plaque (44% versus 69%, p = 0.08) and calcification grade (1.6 versus 2.2, p = 0.002) by angiography were discordant with histological analyses. Measurement of arterial diameter by histology for popliteal arteries (6.2±0.9 mm) and tibial arteries (3.1±0.7 mm) was greater than angiographic diameter determination (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Angiography provides information on luminal characteristics of peripheral arteries but severely underestimates the extent of atherosclerosis in patients with PAD even in “normal appearing” vessels.
peripheral artery disease; stenosis; atheroma; popliteal artery; tibial artery; histology; angiography
Limb amputation is a major cause of disability in Nigeria, and inadequate health facilities for limb salvage procedures and rehabilitation have increased the burden of amputation surgery in our environment. The common indication for limb amputation in Nigeria is limb gangrene due to trauma. A road traffic accident is an important cause of the trauma, and the role of the traditional bonesetters in the increasing incidence of limb gangrene has been reported. The complications of the traditional bonesetter's practice in Nigeria account for about 50-60% of the limb gangrene necessitating amputation in our hospitals. Misadventures in traditional medicine practice are not new to us. People have lost their lives in the cause of testing the efficacy of traditional medicine. This paper reports an unusual indication for limb amputation in Nigeria following misadventure in a traditional medicine practice in a rural community.
To evaluate the prevalence of lower-limb complications in a multiracial cohort of patients with diabetes receiving dialysis.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
This work was a cross-sectional study of lower-limb complications in dialysis-treated patients with diabetes in the U.K. and U.S.
We studied 466 patients (139 U.K.; 327 U.S.). The prevalence of lower-limb complications was high (foot ulcers 12%, neuropathy 79%, peripheral arterial disease 57%, history of foot ulceration 34%, and prior amputation 18%), with no significant ethnic variation, except that foot ulcers were more common in whites than in patients of African descent (P = 0.013). Ninety-five percent of patients were at high risk of lower-limb complications. Prior amputation was related to foot ulcer history, peripheral arterial disease, and hemodialysis modality in multivariable analysis. Prevalent ulceration showed independent associations with foot ulcer history and peripheral arterial disease, but not with ethnicity.
All patients with diabetes receiving dialysis are at high risk of lower-limb complications independent of ethnic background.
OBJECTIVE: To review underlying causes of diabetic foot ulceration, provide a practical assessment of patients at risk, and outline an evidence-based approach to therapy for diabetic patients with foot ulcers. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: A MEDLINE search was conducted for the period from 1979 to 1999 for articles relating to diabetic foot ulcers. Most studies found were case series or small controlled trials. MAIN MESSAGE: Foot ulcers in diabetic patients are common and frequently lead to lower limb amputation unless a prompt, rational, multidisciplinary approach to therapy is taken. Factors that affect development and healing of diabetic patients' foot ulcers include the degree of metabolic control, the presence of ischemia or infection, and continuing trauma to feet from excessive plantar pressure or poorly fitting shoes. Appropriate wound care for diabetic patients addresses these issues and provides optimal local ulcer therapy with débridement of necrotic tissue and provision of a moist wound-healing environment. Therapies that have no known therapeutic value, such as foot soaking and topical antiseptics, can actually be harmful and should be avoided. CONCLUSION: Family physicians are often primary medical contacts for patients with diabetes. Patients should be screened regularly for diabetic foot complications, and preventive measures should be initiated for those at risk of ulceration.
The decision to amputate or salvage a severely injured limb can be very challenging to the trauma surgeon. A misjudgment will result in either an unnecessary amputation of a valuable limb or a secondary amputation after failed salvage. Numerous scores have been proposed to provide guidelines to the treating surgeon, the notable of which are Mangled extremity severity score (MESS); the predictive salvage index (PSI); the Limb Salvage Index (LSI); the Nerve Injury, Ischemia, Soft tissue injury, Skeletal injury, Shock and Age of patient (NISSSA) score; and the Hannover fracture scale-97 (HFS-97). These scores have all been designed to evaluate limbs with combined orthopaedic and vascular injuries and have a poor sensitivity and specificity in evaluating IIIB injuries. Recently the Ganga Hospital Score (GHS) has been proposed which is specifically designed to evaluate a IIIB injury. Another notable feature of GHS is that it offers guidelines in the choice of the appropriate reconstruction protocol. The basis of the commonly used scores with their utility have been discussed in this paper.
Open fractures; severely injured limbs; limb injury severity score
The emergence of limb salvage surgery as an option for patients with osteosarcoma is attributable to preoperative chemotherapy and advancements in musculoskeletal imaging and surgical technique. While the indications for limb salvage have greatly expanded it is unclear whether limb salvage affects overall survival.
We asked whether over the past three decades limb-sparing procedures in high-grade osteosarcoma had increased, and whether this affected survival and ultimate amputation.
We retrospectively reviewed 251 patients with high-grade osteosarcoma treated from 1980 to 2004 with a multidisciplinary approach, including neoadjuvant chemotherapy. We compared survival rates, limb-salvage treatment, and amputation after limb-sparing procedure during three different periods of time. Fifty-three patients were treated from 1980 to 1989, 97 from 1990 to 1999, and 101 from 2000 to 2004. Thirty-seven patients were treated with primary amputations and 214 with primary limb salvage.
The 5-year survival rate in the first period was 36%, whereas in the 1990s, it was 60% and 67% from 2000–2004. Limb salvage surgery rate in the 1980s was 53% (28 of 53), whereas in the 1990s, it was 91% (88 of 97) and 97% from 2000–2004 (98 of 101). In the limb salvage group, 22 of the 214 patients (10%) required secondary amputation; the final limb salvage rate in the first period was 36% (19 of 53), whereas in the 1990s, it was 81% (79 of 97) and 93% from 2000–2004 (94 of 101).
Patients with osteosarcoma treated in the last two periods had higher rates of limb salvage treatment and survival, with lower secondary amputation.
Level of Evidence
Level III, prognostic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Amputation of the lower limb is one of the most feared diabetic complications. It is associated with loss of mobility and a poor quality of life. Amputations result in high economic burden for the healthcare system. The financial cost is also high for patients and their families, particularly in countries that lack a comprehensive health service and/or have a low income. Losing a leg frequently implies financial ruin for a whole family in these countries; therefore, a reduction in diabetes-related amputations is a major global priority. Marked geographical variation in amputation rates has been reported within specific regions of an individual country and between countries. A coordinated healthcare system with a multidisciplinary approach is essential if the number of amputations is to be reduced. This commentary discusses how studies on the variation in amputation rates can help to identify barriers in the access or delivery of care with the aim of reducing the burden of diabetic foot disease.
Amputation; Diabetes; Diabetic foot; Multidisciplinary foot team; Peripheral arterial disease; Ulcer
Black patients with peripheral arterial disease undergo amputation at two to four times the rate of white patients. In order to determine whether differences in attempts at limb salvage might contribute to this disparity, we studied the limb care received prior to amputation by black patients compared to whites.
Using inpatient Medicare data for years 2003-2006, we identified a retrospective sample of all beneficiaries who underwent major lower extremity amputation. ‘Limb salvage care’ was defined as limb-related admissions and procedures that occurred during the two years prior to amputation. We used multiple logistic regression to compare rates of revascularization and other limb care received by black versus white amputees, adjusting for individual patient characteristics. We then controlled for hospital referral region in order to assess whether differences in care might be attributable to the geographic regions in which black and white patients received care. Finally, we examined the timing of revascularization relative to amputation for both races.
Our sample included 24,600 black and 65,881 white amputees. Compared with whites, black amputees were more likely to be female and had lower socioeconomic status. Average age, rates of diabetes, and levels of comorbidity were similar between races. Black amputees were significantly less likely than whites to have undergone revascularization (23.6 vs. 31.6%, p<0.0001), any limb-related admission (39.6 vs. 44.7%, p<0.0001), toe amputation (12.9 vs. 13.8%, p<0.0005) or wound debridement (11.6 vs. 14.2%, p<0.0001) prior to amputation. After adjusting for differences in individual patient characteristics, black amputees remained significantly less likely than whites to undergo revascularization (OR 0.72 [95% confidence interval 0.68-0.76]), limb-related admission (OR 0.81 [0.78-0.84]), or wound debridement prior to amputation (OR 0.80 [0.75-0.85]). Timing of revascularization relative to amputation was similar between races. Observed differences in care were shown to exist within hospital referral regions, and were not accounted for by regional differences in where black and white patients received care.
Black patients are much less likely than whites to undergo attempts at limb salvage prior to amputation. Further studies should explore whether this disparity might be attributable to race-related differences in severity of arterial disease, patient preferences, or physician decision-making.
Diabetes mellitus with peripheral sensory neuropathy frequently results in forefoot ulceration. Ulceration at the first ray level tends to be recalcitrant to local wound care modalities and off-loading techniques. If healing does occur, ulcer recurrence is common. When infection develops, partial first ray amputation in an effort to preserve maximum foot length is often performed. However, the survivorship of partial first ray amputations in this patient population and associated re-amputation rate remain unknown. Therefore, in an effort to determine the actual re-amputation rate following any form of partial first ray amputation in patients with diabetes mellitus and peripheral neuropathy, the authors conducted a systematic review. Only studies involving any form of partial first ray amputation associated with diabetes mellitus and peripheral sensory neuropathy but without critical limb ischemia were included. Our search yielded a total of 24 references with 5 (20.8%) meeting our inclusion criteria involving 435 partial first ray amputations. The weighted mean age of patients was 59 years and the weighted mean follow-up was 26 months. The initial amputation level included the proximal phalanx base 167 (38.4%) times; first metatarsal head resection 96 (22.1%) times; first metatarsal-phalangeal joint disarticulation 53 (12.2%) times; first metatarsal mid-shaft 39 (9%) times; hallux fillet flap 32 (7.4%) times; first metatarsal base 29 (6.7%) times; and partial hallux 19 (4.4%) times. The incidence of re-amputation was 19.8% (86/435). The end stage, most proximal level, following re-amputation was an additional digit 32 (37.2%) times; transmetatarsal 28 (32.6%) times; below-knee 25 (29.1%) times; and LisFranc 1 (1.2%) time. The results of our systematic review reveal that one out of every five patients undergoing any version of a partial first ray amputation will eventually require more proximal re-amputation. These results reveal that partial first ray amputation for patients with diabetes and peripheral sensory neuropathy may not represent a durable, functional, or predictable foot-sparing amputation and that a more proximal amputation, such as a balanced transmetatarsal amputation, as the index amputation may be more beneficial to the patient. However, this remains a matter for conjecture due to the limited data available and, therefore, additional prospective investigations are warranted.
diabetic foot; hallux; ulceration; osteomyelitis; metatarsal; resection
Lower extremity amputations are costly and debilitating complications in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). Our aim was to investigate changes in the amputation rate in patients with DM at the Karolinska University Hospital in Solna (KS) following the introduction of consensus guidelines for treatment and prevention of diabetic foot complications, and to identify risk groups of lower extremity amputations that should be targeted for preventive treatment.
150 diabetic and 191 nondiabetic patients were amputated at KS between 2000 and 2006; of these 102 diabetic and 99 nondiabetic patients belonged to the catchment area of KS. 21 diabetic patients who belonged to KS catchment area were amputated at Danderyd University Hospital. All patients' case reports were searched for diagnoses of diabetes, vascular disorders, kidney disorders, and ulcer infections of the foot.
There was a 60% reduction in the rate of amputations performed above the ankle in patients with DM during the study period. Patients with DM who underwent amputations were more commonly affected by foot infections and kidney disorders compared to the nondiabetic control group. Women with DM were 10 years older than the men when amputated, whereas men with DM underwent more multiple amputations and had more foot infections compared to the women. 88% of all diabetes-related amputations were preceded by foot ulcers. Only 30% of the patients had been referred to the multidisciplinary foot team prior to the decision of amputation.
These findings indicate a reduced rate of major amputations in diabetic patients, which suggests an implementation of the consensus guidelines of foot care. We also propose further reduced amputation rates if patients with an increased risk of future amputation (i.e. male sex, kidney disease) are identified and offered preventive treatment early.
Lower extremity amputations; Diabetic foot; Foot ulcer; Diabetic complications
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the clinical utility of Mangled extremity severity score (MESS) in severely injured lower limbs.
Materials and Methods:
Retrospectively 25 and prospectively 36 lower limbs in 58 patients with high-energy injuries were evaluated with the use of MESS, to assist in the decision-making process for the care of patients with such injuries. Difference between the mean MESS scores for amputated and salvaged limbs was analyzed.
In the retrospective study 4.65 (4.65 ± 1.32) was the mean score for the salvaged limbs and 8.80 (8.8 ± 1.4) for the amputated limbs. In the prospective study 4.53 (4.53 ± 2.44) was the mean score for the salvaged limbs and 8.83 (8.83 ± 2.34) for the amputated limbs. There was a significant difference in the mean scores for salvaged and amputated limbs. Retrospective 21 (84%) and prospective 29 (80.5%) limbs remained in the salvage pathway six months after the injury.
MESS could predict amputation of severely injured lower limbs, having score of equal or more than 7 with 91% sensitivity and 98% specificity. There was a significant difference in the mean MESS scores in the prospective study (n=36), 4.53 (4.53 ± 2.44) in thirty salvaged limbs (83.33%) and 8.83 (8.83 ± 2.34) in six amputated limbs (16.66%) with a P-value 0.002 (P-value < 0.01). Similarly there was a significant difference in the mean MESS score in the retrospective study (n=25), 4.65 (4.65 ± 1.32) in twenty salvaged limbs (80%) and 8.80 (8.8 ± 1.4) in five amputated limbs (20%) with a P-value 0.00005 (P-value < 0.01). MESS is a simple and relatively easy and readily available scoring system which can help the surgeon to decide the fate of the lower extremity with a high-energy injury.
Mangled lower extremity; Mangled extremity severity score; salvage versus amputation