One pair must last a lifetime: Case studies of foot care in diabetes
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Authors: Phillips,P.;Evans,A. M.
Publication: Australian Family Physician
Start Page: 546
Neuropathy is the second most important of the four major ‘traffic light’ warnings for future foot problems (vascular, neuropathy, structural, self care). Peripheral neuropathy is a significant clinical problem in 20% of patients with diabetes. Painful neuropathy can disrupt patients lives but simple effective interventions are available. Painless neuropathy is often not perceived to be a problem by the patient or their doctor but puts the foot at risk from trauma (physical, chemical and thermal). Patients with neuropathy need systematic reassessment of self and professional diabetes care, and education about footwear and foot care. A podiatrist can be invaluable in prescribing appropriate footwear and orthotics to distribute foot pressure and in educating patients about self care. Patients with the ‘double whammy’ of neuropathy and vascular disease are at extreme risk of limb threatening problems and should have a regular monitoring program by themselves (or their carers) and their professionals as well as an ‘action plan’ to detect and deal with problems early.