The Maine Podiatric Medical Association recommends that diabetic patients be seen by a podiatric physician (podiatrist) for a "diabetic foot evaluation" every 6-12 months.
What is your risk for foot ulceration?
Answer the following questions to find out and discover how often you should see a podiatrist in order to avoid such complications.
Diabetic Risk Assessment:
I am able to feel a light touch against my feet/ toes: Yes / No
I have foot deformity (curling toes, bunions, calluses, high arch, flat foot, bone spurs ): Yes / No
I have had a foot ulcer in the past: Yes / No
I have been told that I have "Charcot" foot ( note - this is not the same as "Charcot Marie Tooth Disease") : Yes / No
- If you answered Yes to question 1 and yes or no to question 2, you are at a lower risk for ulceration. You should obtain diabetic foot education, shoe accommodations (appropriate fitting shoes and / or shoe liners), and see a podiatrist every 6-12 months.
- If you answered No to questions 1,2,3 and 4, you have a 1.7 x risk of ulceration and should wear prescribed diabetic shoes as well as follow up with a podiatrist every 3-4 months.
- If you answered No to question 1, but yes to question 2, and no to questions 3 and 4, you have a 12.1x risk of ulceration, and should wear custom molded diabetic shoes, as well as have any deformities addressed and potentially surgically corrected, and see a podiatrist every 2-3 months.
- If you answered No to question 1, and Yes to questions 3 or 4, and yes or no to question 2, you have a 36.4x risk of ulceration, should wear prescribed diabetic shoegear, and follow up with a podiatrist every 1-2 months.
The above recommendations are based on "The University of Texas Diabetic Foot Risk Classification" (Lavery LA, Armstrong DG, Vela SA, Quebedeaux TL, Fleischli JG. Arch Intern Med 1998;158:157-62 225 Patients enrolled)
Note : The above risk classification results do not take peripheral vascular status into account. Patients who have poor circulation, are poorly controlled diabetics, or who also have a history of tobacco use also have greatly increased risks of ulceration and amputation.
Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease
- Diabetes - Today's podiatrist plays a key role in helping patients manage diabetes successfully and avoid foot-related complications.
- Diabetic Wound Care - A diabetic foot ulcer is an open sore or wound that occurs in approximately 15 percent of patients with diabetes and is commonly located on the bottom of the foot.
- High Blood Pressure - High blood pressure is also known as hypertension. Your podiatrist is vitally concerned about hypertension and vascular disease (heart and circulatory problems).
- Peripheral Arterial Disease - PAD is caused by a blockage or narrowing of the arteries in the legs when fatty deposits (plaque) build up. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries to harden and narrow.
- Peripheral Neuropathy - Peripheral neuropathy is damage of the peripheral nerves—the nerves in your toes and fingertips. In the United States, the most common cause of peripheral neuropathy is diabetes.