Diabetic Foot Examination and Assessment

Diabetes can cause a number of complications in the feet referred to as diabetic foot. Damage to small peripheral nerve endings in the feet can lead to neuropathy causing a loss of sensation in the feet. The loss of feeling means that people suffering from the diabetic foot may be unable to detect sores or injuries to the feet. They may also experience numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation in the feet.

Diabetes can sometimes lead to a reduction in blood supply to the feet, causing cramps in the legs amongst other issues. It also delays healing and can make people with diabetes more prone to infection following cuts or wounds to the skin.

The diabetic foot examination is designed for early detection of Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Vascular Disease, both serious conditions that can lead to eventual amputation of limbs.

Podiatry is Critical to Prevention of Diabetic Foot

Podiatry is vital for the management of diabetic foot health and prevention of complications such as ulceration, gangrene, and amputation.

Vascular and Neurological assessment is recommended every 6-12 months for early detection of poor circulation and sensation in the feet.

Small wounds from poor nail cutting technique, reduced eyesight, and inability to reach one’s feet can also have serious ramifications, therefore foot care is best done by a qualified Podiatrist.

Diabetic Foot Exams Reduce the Risk of Diabetic Foot

National Diabetes Health Care Guidelines recommend people with diabetes have their feet checked by a Podiatrist at least once every 12 months. This includes both Vascular and Neurological assessment and will catch any early symptoms of the diabetic foot.

To prevent diabetic foot problems people with diabetes should:

  • Protect feet from injury
  • Inspect their feet daily
  • Understand foot care and infection prevention
  • Possess good footwear knowledge e.g. adequate shoe style and fit for their feet
  • See a Podiatrist immediately if something is not healing or doesn’t look right
  • Have an annual diabetes foot assessment with a Podiatrist to determine if their feet are at risk

Other issues which require ongoing assessment include:

  • Footwear
  • Hygiene
  • Nail and skin pathology
  • HbA1c monitoring (blood sugar level control)
  • Biomechanics

Do you suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes?

Ask your GP if you are eligible to receive Medicare funded Podiatry visits under the EPC scheme. Podiatry can help preserve the health of your feet, to keep you living an active and healthy life.