Did you know that approximately 33.3% of the Malaysian population has diabetes? This figure is much higher than the average population diagnosed with diabetes in other countries.
The first few organs affected by the diabetes mellitus include the feet, followed by eyes and kidneys. Diabetes damages the nerve in feet, giving out first symptoms such as numbness, burning or tingling sensation in the feet. It then leads to the complete nerve damage and therefore losing sensation in the feet, including pain. Therefore, risk of lower limb amputation is triggered. It all starts with a small cut, blister or aggressive friction that the patient is not aware of due to the lost of pain sensation, leading to the formation of diabetic ulcer. If a diabetic foot ulcer is infected and the infection enters the bone, amputation is highly likely necessary to prevent death.
Hence diabetic foot screening is compulsory to all diabetic patients at least once a year. Depending on the condition of each patient, some may need monthly or quarter year assessments.
Diabetic Foot Assessment
Every diabetic foot assessment includes:
Neurovascular assessment (nerve and vascular status checkup with Doppler machine if necessary)
Corn and Callus
Claw toes / Hammer toes
Diabetic Foot Ulcer
Diabetic ulcer is not the end! It does not necessarily leads to amputation if proper treatments are performed. Treatments are such as: