Annual Diabetes Foot Assessment
By Paul on 2/02/2016
Every 12 months people who have type 1 & 2 diabetes should have their feet reassessed. These results should be compared with the baseline assessment and with the results of 12 months earlier to see if there has been any change, especially if this indicates that there is an increase of risk of foot problems.
The 12 monthly re-assessment offered at Total Care Podiatry examines the most important areas that indicate the immediate risk or the potential of developing problems in the future. Areas covered are:
The tests and equipment used have been shown, in research, to be the best possible to provide you with valid and reliable results.
This information then becomes a baseline for comparison with the results of your regular 6 monthly foot check or 12 monthly foot health reassessment done by us, your regular podiatrist or GP.
We will provide your GP with a report and discuss with you the options if any areas need to be addressed.
1. Assessment of your blood circulation
If required we use Doppler ultrasound to measure the blood flow velocity (speed), timing and amount over 2 areas in each foot. This gives us the status of the health of your present circulation.
We combine this equipment with blood pressure measurement, comparing the pressure between the arm and at the ankle. This gives us an indication of the potential of future problems.
Both of these measurements are objective and thus directly comparable with previous assessments.
2. Assessment of the nerve sensation in your feet
Nerve damage, often called neuropathy, can occur in the long nerve fibres connecting your sense of feeling and pain in your feet to your brain.
If this sensation pathway is damaged, you might not feel that your feet are sore or injured and infection may result if it is left unnoticed.
We use a monofilament device to assess the sensation in various areas on each of your feet. This gives us the status of the health of your present sensation and indicates where any risk of insensitivity may occur.
We also use a tuning fork to measure the sense of vibration over of each foot. This gives us an indication of the potential of future problems, as vibration sense is one of the first senses to diminish.
Both of these measurements are also objective and thus directly comparable with previous assessments.
3. Assessment of muscle and joint function
One of the risk factors that recent research has shown, is that people with diabetes can often have a decreased range of motion in the joints.
This can increase the pressure under certain areas of the feet which increases the risk of injury to that tissue including increase incidence of corns and calluses.
This risk will also be affected by the structural misalignments we all have and how your muscles and joints function.
4. Assessment of your skin and nail condition
The tone of your skin, development of hard thick skin (callus) or infection of the skin or nails is more than just a nuisance for people with diabetes. These may indicate a more significant concern.
For example: a callus formation, such as seen in this picture, may well indicate high pressure occurring on areas that are not designed to tolerate such pressure. This could lead to tissue injury.
During your assessment we will thoroughly examine your feet for nail and skin problems. This information helps to build a clear picture so we can recommend strategies, not only to address any immediate concerns, but to actively work towards curing any conditions you may have and prevent them re-occurring.
WARNING: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace professional podiatric advice. Treatment will vary between individuals depending upon your diagnosis and presenting complaint. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a Podiatrist.