I had a diabetic patient come into the office last month for his annual examination. He told my medical assistant that he ‘walked on a nail’ two days before his appointment and that he wasn’t sure how long it had been there.
This is a scary event for both myself as a podiatrist and for my patient because he couldn’t even feel his foot to know that he stepped on something. He has neuropathy, and his annual exam is critical. He was not wearing his extra depth diabetic shoes (which would have given him almost 2 additional inches of protection from the nail penetration) and he didn’t check his feet until several hours after working outside in his garage.
I tell all of my diabetic patients that they have VIF – very important feet, and as such I want to hear about any problems they notice right away. Fortunately for this gentleman, he had recently gotten a tetanus shot and we were able to put him on antibiotics right away. With several weeks of follow up he is back in his garage with his new diabetic shoes and inserts no less!
I cannot emphasize enough the need to have your feet examined at least once a year by a podiatrist – knowing your risk factors like neuropathy or poor circulation can help save your feet AND your life! If you or someone you love has diabetes, please make sure that you schedule your annual comprehensive diabetic foot examination today!