Lydia Kim from Brindabella Podiatry recently attended the 2017 Diabetic Foot Conference in Brisbane! This is what she reported…
Diabetic Foot Australia recently held an international conference discussing the latest information on the influence of diabetes mellitus on feet and gold standard management strategies. As we know, diabetes is a widespread growing disease and according to Professor Nicholas Schaper, the scope of the problem is:
- 9 to 26 million patients worldwide with a diabetic foot ulcer
- Minor amputations approx. 20%
- Lower limb amputation approx. 5%
- Mortality 5 years after amputation
How does Diabetes Mellitus affect your feet?
- Reduction in sensory nerve feedback = High plantar foot pressure
- Impaired tissue perfusion = Poor circulation and healing capacity
- Impaired immunity resulted by reduced circulation = Increase risk of infection
All 3 aspects can lead to serious complications such as ulceration, superficial and deep tissue infection, ischaemia and amputation.
So what are these gold standard management strategies???
: PREVENTION, MONITORING AND CONTROLLING!
- Have a podiatrist perform regular diabetic foot assessments.
- Assessments involve vascular, neurological, musculoskeletal and dermatological.
- Low risk diabetic = Annual assessments.
- Moderate risk diabetic = 6 monthly assessments.
- High risk diabetic = 3 to 4 monthly assessments.
- Always wear supportive and protective shoes especially when walking.
- Moisturise daily to keep your skin strong and protected
- Check your feet nightly or weekly depending on your risk status.
- Feel the soles of your feet and the toes including in between.
- See a podiatrist if you have difficulties caring for your feet.
- Consider orthotic therapy
- Deflect and offload high-pressureareas e.g. callous and corns.
- Minimise any risk of ulceration!
- Reduce pain and discomfort
- Get a podiatrist to remove and control the callous and corn build up.
- For any wound infections, see a podiatrist immediately to control and manage the infection.
In a nutshell, the best management approach for diabetic feet is to PREVENT, MONITOR and CONTROL any complications associated with diabetes mellitus. See a podiatrist and start to see the kind of significant improvements we can achieve. By doing so, we can really enhance the quality of living, life expectancy and prolong a healthier well-being for those affected by diabetes.