ContentsSynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferencesView all Images (6)
Immersion foot in Adult
Print
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Immersion foot in Adult

Print Images (6)
Contributors: Sanuja Bose BS, BA, Eric Ingerowski MD, FAAP, Abhijeet Waghray MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Historically known as "trench foot," immersion foot is cold-weather foot damage caused by prolonged exposure to cold water producing an inflammatory response, such as in trench warfare during World War I. With extended exposure to the cold, the lower extremity vasculature remains constricted to the point of tissue and nerve ischemia. The homeless population is most commonly affected today.

Also referred to as nonfreezing cold injury, immersion foot is commonly seen in individuals who are homeless and exposed to wet footwear and socks in cold weather, resulting in numb, swollen, pale, and clammy feet, which may lead to tissue damage and infection. Long-term disturbance of autonomic function is not uncommon and may manifest as increased pain, sweating, and temperature sensitivity.

Cases have occurred in children following prolonged use of plaster casts and hip spica casts that remain damp from sweat for extended periods of time. Additionally, mismanagement of erythromelalgia has led to immersion foot when there has been excessive use of extreme cooling measures, such as fans, ice, and cold water, for an extended duration of time.

Management includes the drying and gradual rewarming of feet, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications (NSAIDs), treatment of infections, and avoiding recurrence. Treatment of autonomic dysfunction is supportive.

Codes

ICD10CM:
T69.029A – Immersion foot, unspecified foot, initial encounter

SNOMEDCT:
271331002 – Immersion foot

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required

Therapy

Subscription Required

References

Subscription Required

Last Reviewed: 02/01/2019
Last Updated: 02/01/2019
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Immersion foot in Adult
Print 6 Images
View all Images (6)
(with subscription)
Immersion foot : Burning skin sensation, Foot pain, Homeless, Macerated skin, Swollen feet, Foot numbness
Clinical image of Immersion foot
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.