Differences in costs of treatment for foot problems between podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons.
We examined charge data for health insurance claims paid in 1992 for persons under age 65 covered by a large California managed care plan. Charge and utilization comparisons between podiatrists and orthopedic surgeons were made for all foot care and for two specific foot problems, acquired toe deformities and bunions. Podiatrists provided over 59% of foot care services for this commercial population of 576,000 people. Podiatrists charged 12% less per individual service than orthopedists. However, podiatrists performed substantially more procedures per episode of care and treated patients for longer time periods, resulting in 43% higher total charges per episode. Hospitalization was infrequent for all providers, although podiatrists had the lowest rates. In a managed care setting in which all providers must adhere to a preestablished fee schedule, regardless of specialty, the higher utilization by podiatrists should lead to higher overall costs. In some cases, strong utilization controls could offset this effect. We do not know if the utilization difference is due to actual treatment or billing differences. Further, we were unable to determine from the claims data if one specialty had better outcomes than the other. (+info)
Plantar fasciitis and other causes of heel pain.
The most common cause of heel pain is plantar fasciitis. It is usually caused by a biomechanical imbalance resulting in tension along the plantar fascia. The diagnosis is typically based on the history and the finding of localized tenderness. Treatment consists of medial arch support, anti-inflammatory medications, ice massage and stretching. Corticosteroid injections and casting may also be tried. Surgical fasciotomy should be reserved for use in patients in whom conservative measures have failed despite correction of biomechanical abnormalities. Heel pain may also have a neurologic, traumatic or systemic origin. (+info)
Remitting seronegative symmetrical synovitis with pitting oedema (RS3PE) syndrome: a prospective follow up and magnetic resonance imaging study.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the clinical characteristics of patients with "pure" remitting seronegative symmetrical synovitis with pitting oedema (RS3PE) syndrome, and to investigate its relation with polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to describe the anatomical structures affected by inflammation in pure RS3PE syndrome. METHODS: A prospective follow up study of 23 consecutive patients with pure RS3PE syndrome and 177 consecutive patients with PMR diagnosed over a five year period in two Italian secondary referral centres of rheumatology. Hands or feet MRI, or both, was performed at diagnosis in 7 of 23 patients. RESULTS: At inspection evidence of hand and/or foot tenosynovitis was present in all the 23 patients with pure RS3PE syndrome. Twenty one (12%) patients with PMR associated distal extremity swelling with pitting oedema. No significant differences in the sex, age at onset of disease, acute phase reactant values at diagnosis, frequency of peripheral synovitis and carpal tunnel syndrome and frequency of HLA-B7 antigen were present between patients with pure RS3PE and PMR. In both conditions no patient under 50 was observed, the disease frequency increased significantly with age and the highest frequency was present in the age group 70-79 years. Clinical symptoms for both conditions responded promptly to corticosteroids and no patient developed rheumatoid arthritis during the follow up. However, the patients with pure RS3PE syndrome were characterised by shorter duration of treatment, lower cumulative corticosteroid dose and lower frequency of systemic signs/symptoms and relapse/recurrence. Hands and feet MRI showed evidence of tenosynovitis in five patients and joint synovitis in three patients. CONCLUSION: The similarities of demographic, clinical, and MRI findings between RS3PE syndrome and PMR and the concurrence of the two syndromes suggest that these conditions may be part of the same disease and that the diagnostic labels of PMR and RS3PE syndrome may not indicate a real difference. The presence of distal oedema seems to indicate a better prognosis. (+info)
Autosomal dominant burning feet syndrome.
Familial burning feet syndrome inherited as an autosomal dominant trait has been described in only one family. Due to an associated sensory neuropathy the autosomal dominant burning feet syndrome was suggested to represent a variant form of hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy type I (HSAN I). Clinical, histopathological, and molecular genetic studies were performed in a large German kindred with autosomal dominant burning feet syndrome. The autosomal dominant burning feet syndrome was associated with a neuropathy predominantly affecting small unmyelinated nerve fibres. Linkage to the HSAN I locus on chromosome 9q22 and to the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2B (CMT 2B) locus on chromosome 3q13-q22 was excluded. The autosomal dominant burning feet syndrome is neither allelic to HSAN I nor to CMT 2B and thus represents a distinct genetic entity. (+info)
Hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion with tumor necrosis factor-alpha and melphalan in patients with locally advanced soft tissue sarcomas: treatment response and clinical outcome related to changes in proliferation and apoptosis.
Hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion with tumor necrosis factor-alpha and melphalan (HILP-TM) with or without IFN-gamma is a promising local treatment in patients with locally advanced extremity soft tissue sarcomas (STSs), with response rates of up to 84%. The mechanisms of the treatment response are poorly understood. Here, we determined the HILP-TM-induced changes in mitotic activity, proliferation, and apoptosis in 37 STSs; the additional effect of IFN-gamma; and the association of HILP-TM with treatment response and clinical outcome. On archival material, obtained before and 6-8 weeks after HILP-TM with (n = 15) or without (n = 22) IFN-gamma, the number of mitoses was counted, and the proliferation fraction was determined by immunohistological staining for the proliferation associated Ki-67 antigen (MIB1). Apoptosis was visualized by enzymatic detection of DNA fragmentation (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated nick end labeling method). Clinical and histological response, follow-up status, and survival were recorded. The number of mitoses dropped 57% and proliferation rate decreased with 40% after HILP-TM, whereas the amount of apoptosis after HILP-TM more than doubled as before HILP-TM. The addition of IFN-gamma to HILP-TM did not influence the changes in tumor parameters and did not affect treatment response. A better clinical response to HILP-TM was correlated with high mitotic activity and low amount of apoptosis in tumor samples before HILP-TM. Patients with highly proliferative STS before and after HILP-TM had a relatively poor prognosis. Furthermore, patients who developed distant metastases after HILP-TM had a relatively high number of dividing cells in the tumor remnants after treatment. (+info)
Heterotopic endochondrial ossification with mixed tumor formation in C3(1)/Tag transgenic mice is associated with elevated TGF-beta1 and BMP-2 expression.
Transgenic mice which express the simian virus 40 large T-antigen (Tag) under the regulatory control of the hormone responsive rat C3(1) gene develop unusual lesions of heterotopic bone growth associated with mixed tumor formation arising from eccrine sweat glands found only in the foot pads of mice, ischiocavernosus muscle adjacent to bulbourethral glands and occasionally the salivary and mammary glands. These lesions are very similar to mixed tumors arising in several types of human cancers. Based upon electron microscopic examination and immunocytochemical analyses of cellular differentiation markers, the mixed proliferative lesions in this transgenic mouse model begin with the Tag-induced proliferation of epithelial and myoepithelial cells. The proliferation of these two types of cells results in hyperplasia and adenomatous transformation of the epithelial component, whereas the proliferating myoepithelial cells undergo metaplasia to form chondrocytes which deposit extracellular matrix, including collagen fibers. Cartilage develops focally between areas of epithelial proliferation and subsequently ossifies through a process of endochondrial bone formation. The metaplasia of myoepithelial cells to chondrocytes appears to require the inductive interaction of factors produced by the closely associated proliferating epithelial cells, including members of the TGF-beta superfamily. We demonstrate that TGF-beta1 protein accumulates in the extracellular matrix of the lesions, whereas RNA in situ hybridization reveals that BMP-2, another strong inducer of heterotopic bone formation, is overexpressed by the proliferating epithelial cells during the development of ectopic bone. The formation of sarcomatous tumors within the mixed tumors appears to be androgen-dependent and more frequent in mice lacking a normal allele of p53. This process of cartilage and bone induction may mimic epithelial-mesenchymal interactions which occur during embryonic bone formation. These transgenic mice may provide new insights into the processes of ectopic endochondrial bone formation associated with mixed tumor formation and serve as a useful model for human heterotopic bone disease. (+info)
A systematic review of treatments for the painful heel.
OBJECTIVE: To establish the efficacy for treatments of pain on the plantar aspect of the heel. METHODS: Systematic review of the published and unpublished literature. Electronic search of Medline, BIDS and the Cochrane database of clinical trials. An assessment of the quality of the reporting was made of studies included in the review. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: patients' pain scores. STUDY SELECTION: randomized controlled trials, published or unpublished, that evaluated treatments used for plantar heel pain. Foreign language papers were excluded. RESULTS: Eleven randomized controlled trials were included in the review. These evaluated some of the most frequently described treatments (steroid injections and orthoses) and some experimental therapies (extracorporeal shock wave therapy and directed electrons). The methodological assessment scores of the published trials were low; small sample sizes and failure to conceal the treatment allocation from study participants prevents more definitive statements about the efficacy of treatments. In 10 of the included trials, patients in both the intervention and control arms reported improved pain scores at the final outcome measure. CONCLUSIONS: Although much has been written about the treatment of plantar heel pain, the few randomized controlled trials involve small populations of patients and do not provide robust scientific evidence of treatment efficacy. (+info)
Steroid injection for heel pain: evidence of short-term effectiveness. A randomized controlled trial.
OBJECTIVES: To compare the effectiveness of a steroid injection (25 mg/ml prednisolone acetate) with a local anaesthetic control in the treatment of heel pain and to determine any advantage for patients' comfort of using a posterior tibial nerve block to anesthetize the heel prior to infiltration. METHODS: A double-blind randomized controlled trial using a 2 x 2 design in a hospital-based rheumatology clinic. Subjects comprised 106 patients with heel pain referred by general practitioners and other rheumatologists working in Camden and Islington Health Authority. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: heel pain reduction at 1, 3 and 6 months, and patient comfort at the time of injection. All outcomes were measured using a 10 cm visual analogue scale. RESULTS: A statistically significant reduction in pain was detected at 1 month (P=0.02) in favour of steroid injection, but thereafter no differences could be detected. Patient comfort was not significantly affected by anaesthesia of the heel (P=0.5). CONCLUSIONS: A steroid injection can provide relief from heel pain in the short term. There appears to be no increase in patient comfort from anaesthetizing the heel prior to infiltration. (+info)