Query: COVID Toes?
A patient presented with blistering, swelling, and erythema on the toes this week. She has had a history of Raynaud’s but had not had the degree of blistering that she presented with in my office in the past. She is a mother of two young children and the photo was taken when she was away on vacation domestically sometime in early February.
Had she had symptoms before the COVID-19 outbreak, my provisional diagnosis would have been escalation of her Raynaud’s with a differential diagnosis of some other rheumatological problem. She presented with no other symptoms, but given the number of COVID toe cases being reported, it crossed my mind as a remote differential. I would appreciate any thoughts from my colleagues.
Query: Sickle Cell Anemia and Peri Ankle Ulcerations
I have a 51 year old black male patient with sickle cell anemia who also has diabetes mellitus. The patient's blood sugars average about 190 and he was diagnosed about 7 years ago with DM. The patient periodically presents to see me with painful ulcerations, typically dorsally and laterally around the ankles often but not always unilaterally.
Sickle Cell Anemia and Peri Ankle Ulceration
He develops atrophic punched out small crusting wounds which are very painful. He has had enough of these incidents to have developed scar tissue and skin discoloration around these areas. His pulses are strong and the skin temperature is normal and he has no loss of protective sensation. These seem to take a long time to heal and are quite painful. Comments on how to heal or prevent these ulcerations would be appreciated.
Query: Residual Club Foot Recommendations
This patient is a 31 year old female with residual clubfoot complications. She had Ponsetti-type treatment as an infant, and surgeries at 9 months, 9 years, and 12 years of age. She has lateral column overload, fibular impingement, deltoid insufficiency with talipes valgus and medial shift, severe forefoot varus/supinatus, and plantar subluxation of the TN joint with secondary adaptation.
X-rays of residual clubfoot
By exam and x-rays, she has a large TC coalition. It appears the coalition went unrecognized and the previous treatments subluxed the ankle and TN joints to get a plantigrade heel. Orthotics with accommodative forefoot varus no longer help. I would value recommendations on surgical treatment. I am thinking about correctional TN arthrodesis, deltoid reconstruction, heel osteotomy vs. coalition resection plus a STJ correctional fusion. I still need heel axial x-rays. Would a CT be valuable in planning?
Query: Clinical Manifestations of COVID-19
Recently, I came across a patient with symptoms of pain, tingling, and redness to his toes. He attributed it to working out barefoot on a cement floor. The patient has no significant medical history. Has never had these symptoms prior and has no smoking history. Clinically, all 10 toes were cold to touch, with erythematous patches and minimal blistering, some toes had ecchymosis patches. He was recommended nitro paste, to wear socks, and to keep his toes clean and dry.
A few days later, I came across an article depicting similar findings presenting in COVID-19 patients. I spoke with the patient and he continues to be asymptomatic for COVID-19, but has taken his father to the hospital for a presumed infection, hence his exposure. Incidentally, podiatrists can report similar cases to the American Academy of Dermatology registry.
Query: Bilateral Forefoot Pain and "Fullness"
Since January, I have been treating a 71 year old, healthy male, with an active lifestyle with a one year duration of bilateral forefoot pain and ”fullness”, not aggravated by anything particular. X-rays by his PCP were negative. An MRI showed a possible ganglion in the right 1st interspace, and a left foot sprain of the 3rd metartarsal plantar plate. No neuroma was noted and there are no post-static issues. There is no rhyme or reason as to when the forefoot pain/fullness started, but it resolves fairly quickly after acute painful episodes. He has no issues with sleeping, and this is mostly a non-weight bearing issue.
A Medrol Pak and direct cortisone injection has not helped the right foot at all. He can't take gabapentin or Lyrica, due to intolerance. This does not affect sleep at all. On exam, there is no visible issue noted, but he is very sensitive to pressure with distal 2nd MPJ pain. The only thing I have not done is refer him for Neuro consult. His labs are all normal. I have made some shoe modifications that have made no difference and I don’t think orthotics would make a difference. Comments?
I have only seen one case of brachymetatarsia of the 4th metatarsal, one foot. This patient presented with brachymetatarsia of the 3rd and 4th metatarsal, bilaterally.
I find this very unusual. Has anyone else seen this?
Query: Oral Med Replacement for Famotidine
In 30+ years of practice, I have yet to find a great treatment for warts. However, I have had some success with mosaic type warts by using topical acids along with oral Tagamet 400 mg tid. When Tagamet became more and more difficult to obtain, I began using Pepsid 40 mg once daily at bedtime. Today, I found out that Pepsid (famotidine) is on recall. Are there any other oral meds out there that you all are using to battle this condition?
Rich Hofacker, DPM, Akron, OH
Query: Hardware Identification
This patient underwent surgery in 2004 and no records are available. The dorsal screw head has ulcerated through the skin with a pinpoint wound. I need to remove the screw but it appears to have an unusual head shape.
AP and Lateral X-Rays of Unidentified Cannulated Screws
It is clearly not cruciate or hexagonal and is a cannulated screw. Any ideas on what company makes this screw so I can have the matching screw driver on hand to remove it?
Query: Lower Extremity Muscle and Joint Aches from Losartan
A patient presented with bilateral lower extremity aches and pains. They were joint and muscular and affected her foot as well as a knee and hip. She is taking losartan (Cozaar) to lower her blood pressure. The literature indicates that one of the possible side-effects of this drug is lower extremity musculo-skeletal pain and weakness.
Apparently, the symptoms began a month after the patient began taking the medication. Has anyone had any patients who have experienced these symptoms with this particular medication?
Query: Cold Toes
The patient is a 33 year old, alert male with no significant medical history or trauma. His chief complaint is 10 cold toes. Upon evaluation, his toes are 18-20 degrees colder than at the MPJs. His symptoms began a few months ago and are not altered by heat or cold climates.
There are no color changes that accompany the cold sensation and decreased temperatures. His pedal pulses, including those at the toes, are within normal limits. I do not have much more to offer and would appreciate any thoughts from my esteemed colleagues and any additional testing/referrals that might be appropriate.
Query: Help With Tunneling Wound
The patient is a 63 year old white female insulin-dependent diabetic. The patient is blind (diabetic retinopathy) and requires thrice weekly dialysis for complete kidney failure. One year ago, she sustained an ulcer under her right lateral malleolus that “tunneled” to the level of the ankle joint. X-rays are consistent with osteomyelitis of the ankle structures. Culture was S. aureus susceptible to penicillin; the C&S report showed the bacterium to be “moderate” in quantity. We began to use a NPWT such that over a year we no longer express any pus or inspissated blood. The last wound C&S again shows S. aureus, but the quantity is now referred to by the lab as “rare.” Serial x-rays over the last 14 months show no appreciable difference in osteomyelitic degeneration although the talus and malleoli are very degenerated.
I use white foam that is about ½ the length of the tunnel (14 mm), loosely packed. We changed the antibiotic from Amoxicillin (MIC 0.12) to Bactrim (MIC 0.25) at the request of her nephrologist six weeks ago. Externally, there are palpable pedal pulses, mild to moderate edema, no other cardinal signs of infection. I need help closing this wound; any ideas, however innovative, would be of value.
MY CONCERN: the fluid that is now extravagated is straw-colored, odorless, and sterile; I am afraid this is synovial fluid from the open ankle joint. At first blush, I am considering deep curettage and then reapply the NPWT but without the white foam to allow drainage and negative pressure to close the wound; but I am also concerned that the negative pressure may cause an “hourglass” phenomenon, thereby closing the more superficial aspect of the tunnel, but closing off any access to the ankle joint. Also, would antibiotic cement beads be of value both in increasing the density of the now absent/degenerated osseous structures and, of course, the antibiotic within, combating the remainder of the Staph.
Query: Ultrasound-Guided Injections
It has been many years since diagnostic ultrasound has hit the podiatry market. When it first came out, reports were mixed as to the value of using it for periarticular injections of steroid in the foot and ankle. Some papers said it makes the injections more effective and others said that since the material injected spreads out, using the imaging modality is not necessary.
We have had an ultrasound imaging modality in our practice for over four years. Some patients will swear that when I use it to give an injection, they get better results. Others will tell me that it does not seem to matter. Hence, I do not use it routinely. That is my experience. What are the experiences of others? Do you use diagnostic ultrasound routinely when giving injections, some of the time or not at all? To be fair, this question should only be answered by those who own a unit.
Elliot Udell, DPM, Hicksville, NY
Query: Bilateral Foot Pain in Metadductus Foot
A 62-year-old male complained of bilateral forefoot pain and pain in the arches. He also said that he walks on the lateral side of his feet. He is obese and on his feet quite a bit during the day. He wears supportive, stiff soled, New Balance athletic shoes and has worn either over-the-counter or custom inserts for the last 15 years. He says the over-the-counter versus custom inserts do not make a difference regarding relief of pain. What helps him the most with his pain relief is 75 mg diclofenac daily that he has been taking for 10 years.
Bilateral Foot Pain in Metadductus Foot
However, he is beginning to get ringing in the ears which he attributes to the diclofenac. Radiographs of the feet show metadductus deformity bilateral as well as degenerative changes at the midfoot bilaterally. His shoes show abnormal wear on the lateral plantar heel and lateral plantar midfoot. Physical examination is unremarkable except for bunion deformity, both feet. Upon stance, his arches show mild collapse. I would like to get him off the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that he has been on for 10 years. Does anyone have any suggestions on orthotics/bracing for this patient?
Query: 2 Year Old with Onychomycosis
I have a 2 year old patient with onychomycosis. The nail clipping tested positive for T. rubrum. Understandably, the mother does not want the child on oral medication. A dermatologist prescribed a topical antifungal, which did not work (The mother cannot recall the name of the topical antifungal). Any suggestions? For now, they are doing daily apple cider vinegar/water soaks and using tea tree oil. Are there any other suggestions?
Query: Embedded Ingrown Toenail in a 7 Week Old Baby
Does anybody have any recommendations for a 7 week old who was hospitalized due to an infection from an ingrown toenail at 3 weeks of age. The nail is ingrowing into the distal tuft. I can avulse it, but is there any contraindication at that age? Any help would be appreciated.
Query: Re-evaluation of Traditional Angular Parameters for Austin Bunionectomies
According to standard podiatric textbooks, the maximum angular relationship between the first and second metatarsal should be around 16 degrees but can vary due to other parameters such as metatarsal width. A wider metatarsal would allow greater translocation and maintain adequate bone to bone contact for primary bone healing. In the last year, I have been using a minimal incision neck osteotomy technique which I have found to be quite effective. The technique can be seen on Wright Medical’s website. I have been able to use this technique on intermetatarsal angles of much greater than 16 degrees without complications, and if you watch their video, you will see a bunion repair that shifts the metatarsal head over greater than 50%. I was wondering if any other podiatric surgeon has experienced the same and wondered if re-evaluation of the traditional angular parameters for this “short Austin” should be revisited.
Pre-op and Intra-op X-Rays
Above is an x-ray of a mid-aged female with a significant bunion and a pre-op intermetatarsal angle of >18 degrees as an example: pre-op and intra-op. I believe the main reason for being able to get so much stable correction is that the first and largest screw used to fixate the head passes through both the medial and lateral cortex of the first metatarsal proximal to the osteotomy and imparts significant stability when advanced into the head of the metatarsal.
Query: Itraconazole Dosage Error
I prescribed itraconazole for a patient with toenail fungus in July. She failed therapy with terbinafine a year ago. PAS was done after 12 months confirming fungal involvement, most likely saprophytes. The itraconazole was prescribed as a pulsed dose of 200mg bid. The pharmacy dispensed 100mg capsules, labeled appropriately on the bottle with the correct instructions. The patient completed 3 pulses, but mistakenly only took 100mg bid. I am unsure how to proceed following this sub-therapeutic dose. I called Janssen Pharmaceuticals and they did not have an answer. Should I just wait and see, or have her repeat now at the correct dosage?