What Is A Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam & Why Should I Get One?
Posted by Jenn F.
The goal of a podiatrist is to prevent diabetic patients from being hospitalized with a foot problem. In fact, foot complications are the most common reason for diabetics to be hospitalized each year. Worse yet, many of these hospitalizations result in amputations! We developed the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer to be part of a self-care regimen for diabetics to help keep people out of the hospital. Yet, nothing replaces the value of a comprehensive diabetic foot exam with a doctor.
What Is A Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam?
A Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Exam is a simple annual checkup that reduces foot complications in diabetics by up to 85 percent. It covers more than the standard foot exam that non-diabetics would have, so you’ll need to go to a board-certified podiatrist to have the job done.
What Happens At A Diabetic Foot Exam?
All told, there are seven parts to the exam:
1. Assessment of Diabetic Foot Complications – The doctor will find out whether you suffer from peripheral neuropathy, cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, or another coexisting medical issue.
2. Current History - Recent history of ulcers, pain in the calves, hemoglobin test results, shoe problems, and bleeding incidents are also discussed.
3. Foot Exam – During the foot inspection portion, the doctor will look at the condition of the skin to see if it is thin, fragile or shiny. He will look at the condition of the nails to see if they are too long, ingrown, or yellowed with toenail fungus. He’ll look for calluses, ulcers, pre-ulcers, fissures, swelling, warmth, redness, and dryness. Toe deformities, bunions, Charcot foot, metatarsal heads and foot drop indicating musculoskeletal deformity are assessed. The doctor looks for a pedal pulse (a heartbeat sensation in the foot). Next, he will test sensitivity by running a thin nylon filament across the bottom of the foot to see if you can feel it.
4. Risk Categorization - A low-risk ulcer / amputation patient will have: sensation in both feet, pedal pulses present, no deformities, no history of ulcers, and no amputation. On the other hand, the presence of any warning signs may put a person into a higher risk category.
5. Footwear Assessment - The doctor will look to see that you are wearing appropriate shoes and discuss inserts or the prescription of special footwear, if necessary.
6. Education - Podiatrists typically cover self-care examination instructions to help diabetics know when to call a doctor and what to do if a wound occurs and doesn’t heal properly.
7. Diabetes Management Plan - Sometimes patient education is enough. Other times, you may be referred to another specialist or required to have tests conducted on abnormal tissue. If necessary, a follow-up may be scheduled.
SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizers Are Podiatrist-Recommended
We have a number of top-notch podiatrists on our Advisory Board. Dr. Bryan Markinson has served as the Chief of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine since 1999. Dr. Andrew Shapiro has been a board-certified podiatrist operating in Valley Stream, New York since 1987. Dr. Warren Joseph is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and sits on the IDSA Diabetic Foot Infection Guidelines Committee. All of these distinguished professionals helped us in the development of our germicidal UV lamp for diabetics’ footwear. You can buy one to sanitize your shoes at home for $129.95 at www.SteriShoe.com.