Foot Risk Categories
During each visit your doctor will measure the sensation in your feet with special instruments. This will prevent problems that can occur in the feet of diabetic patients. One of the problems diabetics experience is the loss of adequate sensation, which creates the highest risk of disaster, because of its ultimate relationship to foot ulcers, infection, and disfiguring joint conditions.
The sensation loss that occurs in the feet of diabetic patients is very gradual. The patient may not even be aware that this gradual sensation loss is occurring. Therefore, frequent professional testing of sensation is required/recommended.
Research has identified the point where loss of sensation becomes critical, indicating a higher level risk for the patient. The point, called “protective threshold,” can be measured by your doctor with testing instruments. Because of this ability to detect risk, preventative care can be provided. Prevention is the purpose of your doctors FOOT RISK CATEGORIES. Sensation testing, coupled with identification of any previous problems related to sensation loss allows the doctors to inform you of your FOOT RISK CATEGORY.
Your doctors FOOT RISK CATEGORIES are arranged from loss risk to very high risk by number: 0-low risk, 1-medium risk, 2-high risk, and 3-very high risk. Each level has a tailor made plan for prevention of problems, which includes specific personal foot health care instructions, shoe requirements, and follow-up appointment schedule.
Patients should be aware that amputations are very preventable, if the guidelines established for each FOOT RISK CATEGORY are followed.