Diabetes can have detrimental effects on the lower limbs such as ulcers, infection and worst case scenario amputation. This is mainly due to the presence of elevated sugar levels in the blood that lead to two main complications associated with poorly controlled diabetes. The first is peripheral arterial disease 'damaged blood vesels' and peripheral neuropathy 'damaged nerves'.
Inorder to assess the state of blood vessels and nerves, podiatrists perform diabetic foot screening or what is known as a 'Neurovascular Assessment'. Performing this screening will identify any potential problems that could cause ulcer formation, infection or even amputation. If the podiatrist suspects serious problems, they will most likely refer on for further medical attention and testing.
The assessment involves assesing the following factors:
- Measurement of foot pulses
- Sensation Testing with 10g Monofilament device
- Vibration perception tests
- Foot temperature testing
- Assessing skin colour, texture and integrity.
Patients with well maintained diabetes are recommened to undergo a diabetic foor screening consultation once a year. For those with poor diabetic control or present foot complications, These patients will need to be seen on a regular basis for treatment and close monitoring.