Original Research| Volume 59, ISSUE 5, P892-897, September 2020

Evaluation of Peripheral Perfusion in the Presence of Plantar Heel Ulcerations Status After Transmetatarsal Amputation With Achilles Tendon Lengthening


      The objective of this study is to evaluate peripheral perfusion in patients who developed plantar heel ulcerations status after transmetatarsal amputation and Achilles tendon lengthening. Peripheral perfusion was assessed via contrast angiography of the 3 crural vessels (anterior tibial, posterior tibial, and peroneal arteries), as well as intact heel blush and plantar arch. The secondary objective is to correlate the arterial flow to time to develop heel ulceration and incidence of minor and major lower-extremity amputation. Diagnostic angiography without intervention was performed on 40% of patients (4/10), and interventional angiography was performed on 60% of patients (6/10). In-line flow was present in 0% (0/10) of the peroneal arteries, 60% (6/10) of the anterior tibial arteries, and 70% (7/10) of the posterior tibial arteries. Heel angiographic contrast blush was present in 60% (6/10), and intact plantar arch was present in 60% (6/10). Patients developed heel ulcerations at a mean time of 7.6 months (range 0.7 to 41.2) postoperatively. The incidence of major lower-extremity amputation was 30% (3/10), with a mean time of 5.2 months (range 3.5 to 8.3) from time of heel wound development. No amputation occurred in 6 patients (60%). Among them, intact anterior tibial inline arterial flow was present in 3, intact posterior tibial inline arterial flow was present in 6, and heel blush was present in 5. Our results demonstrate that an open calcaneal branch of the posterior tibial artery is sufficient to heal plantar heel ulcerations to potentially increase rates of limb salvage.

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