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The Foot in Diabetes Nurse Education Start Feet in Diabetes


The Foot in Diabetes Nurse Education Start Feet in Diabetes Why worry about Diabetic Feet? Counting the cost of diabetes NHS expenditure on diabetes projected on the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Foot in Diabetes Nurse Education Start Feet in Diabetes

The Foot in Diabetes
  • Nurse Education

Feet in Diabetes
Economics of Diabetes
NICE Guidelines
Foot Assessments
Read Codes for Foot Assessments
Why worry about Diabetic Feet?
  • Counting the cost of diabetes
  • NHS expenditure on diabetes projected on the
    basis of nine per cent (Currie CJ et al 1997) of
    NHS costs in 2000 5,185,314,000
  • This is equivalent to
  • 99,717,567 a week
  • 14,245,367 a day
  • 593,560 an hour
  • 9,893 a minute
  • 165 a second

Diabetic Feet
  • Foot ulceration 'diabetic foot' is the
    commonest reason for people with diabetes to be
    admitted to hospital in the UK. (Young MJ et al
    1994) Diabetic Foot problems take up more bed
    days than all the other complications put
    together (Waugh NR 1988)
  • It is a result of nerve damage (neuropathy) and
    lack of blood supply (ischaemia). If an ulcer
    becomes infected and gangrenous this can
    necessitate amputation. According to one widely
    cited study, people with diabetes are 15 times
    more likely to need amputation than people
    without the condition. (Bild DE et al 1989)

The NICE Guidelines
  • The National Institute for Clinical Excellence
    (NICE) has produced guidelines to help prevent a
    person with diabetes develop the complications
    that can lead to amputation and hospitalisation
  • A Foot assessment can also recognise the
    complications affecting the feet and establish
    protocols for education, review and onward

The NICE Guidelines
  • A General Management approach
  • Decision making shared between patient and
  • Recall and annual review
  • Feet Examination as part of Annual review by
    trained personnel to assess risk
  • Examination Pulses sensation deformity and
  • Classify Risk low increased high ulcer.

Low Risk Foot
  • Foot Pulses are Present so no Ischaemia
  • No Loss of Sensation so no Neuropathy

Increased Risk Foot
  • Either Pulses are Absent
  • Or there is Neuropathy
  • Or there is Foot deformity

High Risk Foot
  • Previous History of Foot Ulceration
  • Or Pulses are Absent
  • Or there is Neuropathy
  • and there is Foot deformity, or other risk factor

Read Codes used in Foot Assessments
  • Diabetic Foot Risk Assessment 66AW
  • Read Codes for Low Risk Feet
  • Right Foot 2G5E
  • Left Foot 2G5I
  • Read Codes for Increased Risk Feet
  • Right Foot 2G5F
  • Left Foot 2G5J
  • Read Codes for High Risk Feet
  • Right Foot 2G5G
  • Left Foot 2G5K

Foot Assessment
  • The assessment is vital to establish a level of
    risk in the Diabetic Foot
  • This assessment is normally performed in a
    primary care setting by Practice nurses, but may
    also be performed by Podiatrists, GPs and
    Consultant Physicians

Foot Assessment
  • The risk groups the assessment is designed to
    place people in are
  • Low Risk
  • Increased Risk
  • High Risk
  • Ulcerated
  • (Ref NICE Guidelines 2005)

Foot Assessment
  • The assessment can be divided into three parts
  • History
  • Examination
  • Investigations
  • Remember all these can be done at the same time
    in a busy clinic otherwise you will run behind
    and people will start getting annoyed with you in
    the waiting room!

  • Presenting complaint if there is one
  • Past Foot History
  • Diabetes History
  • Past Medical History
  • Family History
  • Drug History
  • Psychosocial History

Presenting Foot Complaint
  • Foot problem could be
  • Skin breakdown swelling colour changes pain
    callosity toenail problem or footwear problem
  • Ask questions
  • Where is the problem?
  • When did it start?
  • How did it start?
  • How has it been treated so far?

Presenting Foot Complaint
  • Consider who is the best team member to deal with
    the current problem and refer when necessary.
  • Pain as a symptom may be due to localised trauma
    infection ischaemia or neuropathy
  • The next slide will help you distinguish between
    pain from ischaemia and neuropathy

Ischaemic or Neuropathic Pain?
  • Ischaemic Pain
  • Persistent pain
  • Worse on elevation
  • Relieved by dependency
  • Pain in calf on exercise (claudication) relieved
    by rest
  • Neuropathic Pain
  • Burning pains
  • Contact pains due to sheets or other touch
  • Sharp short shooting pains
  • Pain relieved by cold
  • Pain worse during rest

Past Foot History
  • Note previous ulceration and treatments
  • Note any previous amputations
  • Major
  • Minor
  • Reasons for amputations
  • Osteomyelitis Necrosis Trauma
  • Peripheral Angioplasties
  • Peripheral Arterial Bypasses

Diabetes History
  • Type of Diabetes
  • Type 1
  • Type 2
  • Duration of Diabetes
  • Treatment of Diabetes
  • Insulin
  • Oral Hypoglycaemics

Diabetes History
  • Complications
  • Retinopathy
  • Nephropathy
  • Cardiovascular
  • Angina, Heart Failure, Myocardial Infarction
  • Coronary artery angioplasty or bypass
  • Cerebrovascular
  • Transient Ischaemic attack (TIA)
  • Stroke (CVA)

Past Medical History
  • Severe systemic conditions
  • Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis etc
  • Neurological conditions
  • Epilepsy, Parkinsons disease etc
  • Accidents
  • Injuries
  • Hospital Admissions
  • Operations

Drug History
  • Present Medication
  • Steroids, Anti-coagulants etc.
  • Known Allergies or sensitivities
  • Antibiotics
  • Medications
  • Dressings
  • Adhesive dressings

Family History
  • Familial History of Diabetes
  • Other serious illness
  • Cause of death of near relatives
  • Obesity

Psychosocial History
  • Occupation
  • Smoker?
  • Number of cigarettes smoked daily
  • Drink Alcohol?
  • Number of units drunk daily
  • Psychiatric illness
  • Home circumstance
  • Type of accommodation Lives alone?

Foot Examination
  • Explain what you are doing for each test
  • Look at the feet and legs from a distance away
    and note any differences between the right and
    left in terms of Deformity, Colour and Volume
  • Ask the patient whether they have any worries
    about their feet
  • Take a short history of any relevant operations,
    injuries, medication, that may impact on their
    feet. (See History)

Foot Examination
  • Feel with the back of the hand the temperature of
    the skin surface from the distal part of the foot
    up the leg and then compare to the other foot and
  • Are there any differences? Cold spots or areas of
    heat? (May lead you to think about ischaemia or
  • Note the absence of hair growth on the toes and
    legs (non conclusive sign of ischaemia)

Foot Examination
  • Note any colour differences
  • Redness (erythema) may lead to conclusions about
    presence of infection.
  • Oedema may or may not be present in infection
    dependant on how ischaemic the foot is.
  • Any suspicion of infection should be referred on
    to an appropriate team member to decide on the
    necessity for antibiotic therapy
  • Now go on to check the foot pulses

Check the Foot Pulses
  • Dorsalis Pedis Pulse
  • Use index, middle and ring fingers together and
    palpate the dorsum of the foot over the bony
    prominence of the tarsal bones 4-5 cm proximal to
    the space between the first and second toe just
    lateral to the Extensor Hallucis longus tendon
  • Posterior Tibial Pulse
  • Found below and behind the medial malleolus

Check the Foot Pulses
  • If you palpate either of these pulses it is
    unlikely there is any significant ischaemia in
    the foot
  • If both pulses are not palpable then check the
    popliteal and femoral pulses
  • ABPI (Ankle Brachial Pressure Index) can be
    undertaken but calcification of arteries in
    Diabetes can lead to falsely high ABPI readings
    so toe pressures could be undertaken (TBPI)
  • Pulse Oximetry comparison between finger and toe
    can also be very useful (Parameswaran et al Arch
    Intern Med Feb 2005 Vol1654 442-446)

Check for Neuropathy
  • The method of choice is the 10gm monofilament
    applied perpendicular to the foot and pressure
    applied until it bends
  • Sites to test
  • Apex of first, third, and fifth toes and the ball
    of the foot (MTP joints) of the same toes, dorsum
    of foot and heel
  • Vibration sense tested on dorsum of first toe and
    a site further proximal such as the lateral
    malleolus using a 128-Hz tuning fork

Check for Neuropathy
  • When testing get the person to close their eyes
  • Repeat the test three times at each site
  • One of those three tests should be a non test
    where the foot is not touched
  • This is to ascertain whether the person being
    tested is telling you what they feel you want
    to hear

Foot Examination
  • Next examine each foot more closely
  • Check each toe and in between each toe
  • Check the Toenails
  • Check the skin
  • Check for areas of deformity or swelling
  • Check joint mobility
  • Check colour signs of necrosis or ischaemia
  • Check Footwear

  • Toes should be checked for shoe pressures and
  • Toes should be checked for deformities and advice
    given as appropriate on footwear

  • Toenails should be checked for infections
  • Fungal Nail infections
  • Toenails should be checked for ulceration
  • Ulceration under the nail
  • (sub ungual ulceration)

  • Toenails should be checked for thickening
  • Check for ingrown Toenails

  • Skin should be checked for any wounds or entry
    points for infections
  • Skin should be checked for callosity and signs of

Deformity and Oedema
  • Check deformities are not under pressure from
  • Be aware of any oedema and its possible causes
  • venous insufficiency
  • infection

Joint Mobility
  • Check joint mobility as this may impact on
    possible pressure points
  • Other conditions complicating Diabetes such as
    Rheumatoid arthritis can result in poor joint
    mobility and gross deformity

Necrosis and Ischaemia
  • Buergers Test
  • Elevate the limb above heart level Turns White
  • Then lower the limb to dependency Turns Purple
  • Is a Indicator for Ischaemia
  • Find Pulse with doppler then raise leg if pulse
    sound reduces or stops then ischaemia is indicated

Necrosis and Ischaemia
  • Wet necrosis
  • Usually appears as yellow/grey slough with
    grey/pale pink base
  • Dry Necrotic Lesions should be noted and left dry
    but monitor demarcation lines for signs of

Examine Footwear
  • Check Footwear for
  • Length, width depth
  • Template Test
  • Internal seams or rough edges
  • Fastenings
  • Fastenings to keep shoe on
  • No fastenings means shoe is too tight or person
    has to claw toes to keep shoes on
  • Heels
  • Wide stable heel
  • Not higher than 2.5cm

Footwear Template Test
  • To check for length and width
  • Place foot on thin card (cereal pack will do)
  • Draw around barefoot
  • Cut out template
  • Place inside shoes
  • This will show if any edges of the template need
    to deform to get the shoe on
  • Repeat for the other foot
  • Show the person your findings

Stages of Diabetic Foot
  • Stage 1 Normal or Low Risk Foot
  • Stage 2 High-Risk Foot
  • Stage 3 Ulcerated Foot
  • Stage 4 Infected Foot
  • Stage 5 Necrotic Foot
  • Stage 6 Unsalvageable Foot
  • (Stages of Diabetic Foot Ref Edmonds, Foster,
    Sanders 2004)

Normal Foot
  • No risk factors present
  • Foot sensation good
  • Foot pulses palpable
  • No foot deformities
  • No pathological callus
  • No swelling
  • Foot Assessment

High Risk Foot
  • Neuropathy and Ischaemia
  • are the main risk factors for ulceration.
  • Deformity, oedema and callus
  • are risk factors that will not necessarily lead
    to ulceration unless either or both of the main
    risk factors are present

High Risk Foot
  • The Foot has developed one or more or the
    following risk factors for ulceration
  • Neuropathy
  • Ischaemia
  • Deformity
  • Oedema
  • Callus

Ulcerated Foot
  • Foot ulcers can be less than 1mm or cover most of
    the foot surface
  • But all foot ulcers large or small should be
    taken very seriously
  • As they can deteriorate rapidly

Infected Foot
  • Managing Infection is a vital in treating foot
  • Tissue samples are better than swabs to send for
    culture and sensitivity, but if swabs are used
    take from the base of the ulcer.

Spreading erythema from L/4th toe would strongly
suggest infection
Necrotic Foot
  • Necrosis can be wet or dry
  • Wet Necrosis has slough which is soft, yellow or
    grey in colour
  • Dry Necrosis has slough which is hard and black

Wet Necrotic Slough
Dry Necrotic Slough
Unsalvageable Foot
  • Sometimes when there is a great risk of Spreading
    Osteomyelitis and or necrosis or the patients
    life is in danger from Septicaemia then
    Amputation is the only recourse

Ulcer probes to bone Necrosis and osteomyelitis
Amputation was performed within days
  • Laboratory Tests
  • Full Blood Count (FBC) to detect anaemia or
  • Serum Electrolytes, urea and creatinine to assess
    Renal function
  • Serum bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, gamma
    glutamyl transferase, and aspartame transaminase
    to assess Liver function
  • Blood Glucose HbA1c to assess diabetes control
  • Serum cholesterol and triglycerides to assess
    arterial disease risk factors

  • Radiological determined by clinical presentation
    and not always necessary
  • X-ray to detect
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Fracture
  • Charcot Foot
  • Gas in soft tissues
  • Foreign Body

  • Foot Pressures
  • These techniques measure pressure distributions
    of the foot either out of shoe by walking across
    pressure plates or by in shoe pressure
    templates which are placed in the shoes and then
    foot pressures recorded over time.

Foot Risk Factors
  • Callus is an indication that an area of skin is
    working harder than it is designed for.
  • In poor tissue viability the callus can ulcerate.
  • Try to remove the causes of the callus
  • Footwear can be a major cause of callus
  • So can deformities or poor gait patterns

Foot Deformity
One month later ulcer improved and infection
treated with antibiotics
Ulcer over exostosis deformity with infection
Foot or Toe Deformities
  • Deformities under the foot can add to pressures
    when the patient is ambulant
  • Deformities to the top or the sides of the foot
    can add to pressures from footwear
  • If surgical treatment of the deformity is
    unwanted then accommodate the deformity by
    referring for therapeutic footwear

This patients Lymphoedema has caused pressure
from footwear on the lateral border of the foot
Foot Ulceration
  • Ischaemia is the result of poor arterial supply
    to the foot and leg.
  • Without a good blood supply skin will not heal
    well and can lead to necrosis (gangrene)

Necrosis of the apex of toe
Foot Health Education
Self Assessment Tests
  • Are you ready to take a self assessment test of
    this module?
  • If not then press the button to go back to review
    the material again
  • However if you feel ready to be questioned then
    press this button instead

Information to Help
  • Hopefully you will find it easy to navigate this
    presentation but this may help
  • Icons when you click on them
  • This icon takes you back one slide
  • This icon takes you forward one slide
  • This icon takes you back to the start
  • This icon took you to this help page

  • Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy is the presence of
    symptoms and/or signs of peripheral nerve
    dysfunction in people with diabetes, after
    exclusion of other causes e.g. Multiple Sclerosis
    (Boulton et al 1998)
  • This can be sub divided into
  • Motor Neuropathy
  • Painful Neuropathy
  • Autonomic Neuropathy
  • Sensory Neuropathy
  • Charcot Neuroarthropathy

Motor Neuropathy
  • Diabetic amyotrophy
  • This is a rare and unusual manifestation which
    results in poor motor control of the leg muscles
    usually bilateral leading to muscle weakness and
    muscle wasting
  • Usually affects the quadriceps (anterior thigh)
  • May also affect hamstrings (posterior thigh)
  • Not always associated with sensory loss
  • (Ref Kaplan Abourizk 1981)

Painful Neuropathy
  • A small number of people with diabetes complain
  • Burning pains or Shooting pains in the legs
  • Sensation of overtight skin
  • Toes can feel larger than they actually are
  • Heightened awareness of sensations
  • Feeling of walking on stones
  • Warm/cold sensations in the feet

Painful Neuropathy
  • This is a nasty complication of diabetes that can
    be underestimated by healthcare professionals as
    it presents with little sign that anything is
  • However patients in pain do not sleep well become
    disturbed, confused and depressed as constant
    unexplained pain can be miserable to bear.

Painful Neuropathy
  • Can be provoked when insulin is first started and
    gradually improves if tight blood sugars are
  • Distribution usually bilateral (both legs)
  • Usually worse at night and is not improved with
    foot dependency unlike ischaemic rest pain which
    is improved if the foot is lowered out of the bed

Painful Neuropathy
  • Management is reassurance as this condition
    usually resolves within 2 years but may be
    replaced with numbness
  • Therapies include
  • Topical therapy
  • Glycaemic control
  • Drug therapy
  • Physical treatments

Painful Neuropathy
  • Topical Therapy
  • Some patients find relief from burning pains or
    contact dysaesthesia with opsite film dressings
    or opsite sprays though clingfilm worn on the
    unbroken skin of the legs at night may be an
  • Capsaicin applied as a cream

Painful Neuropathy
  • Glycaemic Control
  • High blood sugars (Hyperglycaemia) is known to
    lower the threshold for pain
  • So with diabetic painful neuropathy due regard
    should be taken to HbA1c levels noting the normal
    range to be 3.8 to 6.4
  • Diabetic therapies should then be optimised

Painful Neuropathy
  • Drug Therapy
  • This consists of analgesics, hypnotics, tricyclic
    antidepressants, anticonvulsants and
    antiarrythmics (used rarely)
  • Burning pain Tricyclic antidepressants e.g.
    Amitriptyline or Imipramine (but be aware of
    postural hypotension)
  • Anticonvulsants e.g. Gabapentin

Painful Neuropathy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation TENS
  • Can be used to block the pain stimulus with
    electrodes either side of painful area
  • Acupuncture
  • Anecdotally reported as useful

Autonomic Neuropathy
  • This is very common in the diabetic foot as the
    autonomic nervous system controls the sweat
  • This type of neuropathy produces dry skin which
    is liable to fissure and could lead to infections
    and/or ulceration

Autonomic Neuropathy
  • As we can see from this picture of a heel, dry
    skin can easily lead to fissuring and ulceration

Autonomic Neuropathy
  • So people with autonomic neuropathy should be
    encouraged to use emollients on a daily basis
  • A small amount daily is much better than a big
    dollop once a week
  • Aqueous Cream B.P. is very good and generally
    more affordable that branded products such as
    E45,Vaseline Intensive Care or Atrixo

Sensory Neuropathy
  • This is the most common form of Neuropathy in
  • Leads to a numb, painless foot insensitive to one
    or all of
  • light touch deep touch heat and cold pain
    sensation and vibration sensation
  • This can lead to problems of patients being
    unaware of trauma to the feet.

Sensory Neuropathy
  • This type of neuropathy can lead to problems of
    ulceration caused by
  • Mechanical Trauma
  • Chemical Trauma
  • Thermal Injury

Sensory Neuropathy
  • Mechanical Trauma
  • Skin can be subject to shearing and compressive
    mechanical stresses leading to corns or callus
  • Further stresses can then lead to tissue
    breakdown under the callosity

Sensory Neuropathy
  • Mechanical Trauma
  • The pain and/or pressure response is absent and
    the pressure causing the lesions continues
    without rest and leads to ulceration beneath the

Sensory Neuropathy
  • Chemical Trauma
  • People are tempted to use medicated corn and
    callus plasters which contain salicylic acid
    which breaks down the keratin molecules within
    the skin and theoretically softening the
    callosity unfortunately this acid varies in
    concentration and can lead to ulceration

Sensory Neuropathy
  • Thermal Injury
  • This example is of a person with diabetic sensory
    neuropathy who burnt his toe on the metal side of
    a radiant heater.
  • As he felt no pain he did not realise the damage
    that was occurring. So as he watched television
    the skin was burnt then blistered and took 7
    months to heal

Sensory Neuropathy
  • Sensory Neuropathy when recognised as present in
    a person with diabetes should lead to an
    education of that person by healthcare
    professionals in how to care for themselves.
  • The main point of that education is DAILY FOOT
    EXAMINATIONS by the patient or their carer.

Sensory Neuropathy
  • Prevention and recognition of any foot problem is
    the primary responsibility of the person with
    diabetes and their carers.
  • The daily foot examination is vital in the high
    risk foot as injuries may have occurred without
    the patient realising so they must look for any
    wounds, injuries or blistering which may give an
    access point to opportunist infections.
  • Then a immediate regime of antiseptic dressings
    should be instituted by the patient or carer with
    daily wound checking
  • If any sign of infection is present or if the
    wound is large an immediate GP appointment should
    be sought for antibiotic therapy with support
    from the community nursing team instituted

Foot Risk Factors
Economics of Diabetes