What is included in the foot exam for type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM)?

Updated: Sep 13, 2019
  • Author: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

The dorsalis pedis and posterior tibialis pulses should be palpated and their presence or absence noted. This is particularly important in patients who have foot infections: poor lower-extremity blood flow can delay healing and increase the risk of amputation.

Documenting lower-extremity sensory neuropathy is useful in patients who present with foot ulcers because decreased sensation limits the patient’s ability to protect the feet and ankles. If peripheral neuropathy is found, the patient should be made aware that foot care (including daily foot examination) is very important for the prevention of foot ulcers and lower-extremity amputation. (See Diabetic Foot Infections.)


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