Why people with Diabetes should have their feet assessed

05 Jul Why people with Diabetes should have their feet assessed

July 8th-14th is National Diabetes Week, and this years focus is “It’s About Time“.  The aim is to raise awareness about the early detection and early treatment options for all types of Diabetes.

Did you know your feet are at risk due to nerve damage or poor blood supply.  In particular there is an increased risk of infection, foot ulcers and amputations.

Podiatrists play an important role, as they can provide comprehensive foot assessments (neurovascular assessment) and treatment plans for those with Diabetes; suitable for any age and any stage.

What is a neurovascular foot assessmentfoot-assessment

 

Comprehensive assessment testing the blood supply and nerves of the foot.

It involves assessing;

-Two types of foot and ankle pulses (using doppler ultrasound)

-The vascular refill status on both feet

-The general health of the skin and nails

-For sores/wounds/ulcers

-5-types of sensations/nerve control (fine touch, light pressure, vibration, reflexes, balance/walking profile)

What is the outcome

 

You will be graded as either LOW, MODERATE or HIGH risk of developing foot related complications due to diabetes.

Patients at LOW RISK require follow-up neurovascular assessment at 12 months.

Patients at MODERATE RISK require follow-up neurovascular assessment at 6 months.

Patients at HIGH RISK require follow-up neurovascular assessment at 3 months.

What is the treatment plan

 

Our Podiatrist Hayley will provide education on how to improve your foot health.  She promotes prevention strategies as a key aim, and give you the skills to help look after your feet.  Other common treatment approaches may include:

-Regular routine nail and skin care to treat long, thick, mycotic toenails or hard skin (callus, corns)

-Footwear advice and referral for appropriate shoe fit, comfort and support

-Orthotic therapy for pressure offloading and soft tissue assistance

-Balance and strengthening exercises to do at home

-Wound treatments; dressing, self-care and healing promotion

Hayley also recommends her patients read the “Foot Care” page on the Diabetes Australia Website:

https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/foot-care