The benefits of having an annual comprehensive diabetic foot exam are too numerous to mention. If a patient sees his or her podiatrist along with one other member of the diabetic foot team, the relative risk reduction of a high level amputation will decrease, with some studies showing a reduction of as much as 80 percent.1
It’s a simple thing. Just the patient getting into see his or her foot doctor can yield significant benefits down the road. We outlined with the American Diabetes Association many years ago what goes into a good quality diabetic foot exam.1
We have also boiled that down to a three-minute foot exam, which is intended for use for technicians or primary care physicians or their physician extenders.2 There are whole companies that have done this. Arche Healthcare has taken this whole idea and extended it even further into a seamless tracking system for diabetic foot ulcers.
All of these put podiatry at the center of the high-risk limb universe. Hopefully, we can make a big difference and keep a few more legs on a few more bodies.
1. Boulton AJM, Armstrong DG, Albert SF, et al. Comprehensive foot examination and risk assessment. Diabetes Care. 2008; 31(8):1679–85.
2. Miller JD, Carter E, Shih J, Giovinco NA, Boulton AJ, Mills JL, Armstrong DG. How to do a 3-minute diabetic foot exam. J Fam Pract. 2014; 63(11):646–56.