HOW WE CAN HELP…
Diabetes can lead to a reduction in blood supply to the feet, which may result in varying pathologies in the legs and feet. The reduced blood supply can delay healing and can make people with diabetes more prone to infection following cuts to the skin.
Why you might need a diabetic foot assessment
Diabetes can cause a number of complications in the feet. Damage to small nerve endings in the feet can lead to neuropathy (a nerve condition that can lead to pain, numbness or tingling in one or more parts of the body) causing a loss of feeling in the feet. The loss of sensation means that people suffering from the diabetic foot may be unable to detect cuts or injuries to the feet. They may also experience numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation in the feet.
A diabetic foot assessment with one of our podiatrists is recommended to establish your foot health status. The assessment is designed to detect Diabetic Neuropathy and Peripheral Vascular Disease - two serious conditions which can lead to eventual amputation of limbs if undetected and untreated.
What will the diabetic foot assessment involve?
Our podiatrists will undertake a thorough diabetic foot assessment, involving some simple tests to assess the sensation in your feet, determine the blood supply to your feet and identify any potential risk areas on your feet. During an assessment, our podiatrists will perform an arterial doppler ultrasound. This is a noninvasive test which enables our podiatrists to evaluate blood flow via the two main arteries in the feet, and examines the presence of peripheral vascular disease and/or the presence of peripheral neuropathy.
Our podiatrists may also perform a Toe Brachial Index (TBI), which is a comparison of blood pressure in the arm to the blood pressure in the great (big) toes. This gives our podiatrists an indication as to how well the blood is circulating within fine tissues, and can indicate a narrowing or blockage of the arteries in the legs; increasing the risk of circulatory problems, ulcerations, gangrene.
Diabetic foot assessments are generally performed once every 6-12 months if you are 'low risk' patient. However assessments may be done more often if you have a current foot complication (as a result of diabetes), or are assessed as having a high risk of complications.
Our podiatrists will also keep you and your GP updated on the results of the assessment, and will determine whether you need to return annually or more frequently.