Diabetic Foot Screening
Podiatrists play an important role in monitoring and caring for patients’ feet who have diabetes.
Having diabetes increases the risk of foot complications due to its affect on the circulation system and nerves of the lower limb.
Diabetic foot assessments include:
– Doppler ultrasound for lower limb vascular (circulation) assessment
– Neurological (nerve) screening including testing your tactile pressure sensation, reflexes, and vibration
– Skin and toenail conditions
– Bone and joint function
– Risk categorisation
– Footwear advice
– Advice on how to maintain good foot health in between visits
– It is important for diabetic patients to have their feet checked every 6-12 months to monitor any changes
– Regular general treatments are recommended for all diabetic patients
Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nerves in the extremities, such as the feet. It can cause tingling, numbness and loss of sensation. The loss of feeling places patients with diabetes at an increased risk for ulcerations and amputations. Early diagnosis can improve quality of life and reduce risks of complications.
Poor circulation is due to the narrowing and/or hardening of the artery walls in response to high sugar levels. It can start as leg cramps or pain when walking short distances, and relieved by rest. If left untreated, small cuts will not be able to heal, which can increase the risk for ulcerations.