DIABETES ASSESSMENTS & RISK MANAGEMENT
Caring for your feet is particularly important if you have diabetes as foot problems are a common complication of diabetes. Your feet can be affected in two ways: blood supply may be affected, resulting in slower healing and you may also lose some feeling in your feet due to nerve damage. A person whose nerves are damaged by diabetes may not realise they have minor cuts or blisters, which can lead to ulcers.
Foot problems can be avoided if you take care of your feet and act quickly when you have a problem. We, therefore, advise all of our diabetic patients to undergo an annual neurovascular assessment as well as regular foot health checks 6-10 weekly to ensure that the health of your feet is monitored and addressed as soon as issues arise.
As part of an annual neurovascular assessment, our Podiatrists will assess the circulation in your feet and your ability to detect sensation in your feet. The assessment involves four important components:
1. Vascular - blood flow in the feet, which indicates the ability to repair after injury
2. Neurological - sensation/feeling in the feet and detect injuries
3. Dermatological - skin condition (defence barrier to the outside world against pressure, friction, germs, etc.)
4. Musculoskeletal - deformities, prominent lumps and bumps which may receive too much pressure. Too much pressure and can lead to ulceration and eventually amputation.
We use a Doppler Ultrasound for the vascular component of these assessments, which is a non-invasive test that uses high frequency acoustic sound waves to study the pulses and blood flow in smaller blood vessels of your feet (see picture above). Our Doppler has an audio component, so our Podiatrists can hear the pulse. It also prints the test results, which can then be compared from one year to the next so that if a problem is developing, we can provide advise on further treatment options as necessary. We believe that Doppler ultrasound reports provide the most accurate reporting to your GP and/or rheumatologist.
As a person with diabetes, you may be eligible for a Chronic Disease Management plan which would entitle you to up to five bulk-billed podiatry appointments in a calendar year at our clinic. If this is the case, your GP will arrange the paperwork to be sent to our clinic, usually via fax at 9894 0242, or you are welcome to bring it in with you to your initial consultation.
If you think you could benefit from a diabetes assessment conducted by one of our Podiatrists, give us a call on 9894 2463 or book online to make an appointment.