A diabetic foot exam is performed by a Podiatrist to evaluate your overall health, your diabetes, as well as identify any problems that could arise related to your feet.
Often times we hear about friends or family members that have undergone multiple foot procedures, sometimes including amputation, related to diabetes. This often occurs when preventable factors have not been identified and properly managed. Overall, the purpose of a preventative diabetic foot exam is to identify, manage and potentially prevent complications related to diabetes that could end in infection or amputation. Anyone with diabetes, either controlled or not controlled should get regular diabetic foot exams.
Much like a check-up with your primary care doctor or with your dentist, there are certain signs and symptoms that a Podiatrist will evaluate to perform and complete a preventative diabetic foot exam. This will also include an evaluation of x-rays, the skin, the structure of your foot, the presence of peripheral vascular disease, and neuropathy. It is not uncommon to be prescribed custom orthotics after a diabetic foot exam. The purpose of custom orthotics is to help prevent the likelihood of developing a callus to the bottom of your foot and will likely help prevent a wound from forming. Another preventative measure that can help prevent wounds and other foot-related complications is diabetic shoes.
In most cases, yes! Insurance companies have identified the value in preventative care. There may be some exceptions but all major insurance companies typically cover regular diabetic foot exams, including Medicare and Medicaid.
Yes! Dr. McCabe did a fellowship after residency for the very purpose of limb preservation and this, of course, includes preventative diabetic foot exams. Diabetic foot exams are a regular part of amputation prevention and limb preservation.