Diabetes and Foot Care Recommendations

American Diabetes Association (ADA) Standards of Care 2024:

1. Perform a comprehensive foot evaluation at least annually to identify risk factors for ulcers and amputations.

2. The examination should include inspection of the skin, assessment of foot deformities, neurological assessment (10-g monofilament testing with at least one other assessment: pinprick, temperature, or vibration), and vascular assessment, including pulses in the legs and feet.

3. Individuals with evidence of sensory loss or prior ulceration or amputation should have their feet inspected at every visit.

4. Obtain a prior history of ulceration, amputation, Charcot foot, angioplasty or vascular surgery, cigarette smoking, retinopathy, and renal disease and assess current symptoms of neuropathy (pain, burning, numbness) and vascular disease (leg fatigue, claudication).

5. All people with diabetes should be assessed for diabetic peripheral neuropathy starting at diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and 5 years after the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and at least annually thereafter.

6. Assessment for distal symmetric polyneuropathy should include a careful history and assessment of either temperature or pinprick sensation (small-fiber function) and vibration sensation using a 128-Hz tuning fork (for large-fiber function). All people with diabetes should have annual 10-g monofilament testing to identify feet at risk for ulceration and amputation.

7. In asymptomatic individuals with diabetes and age ≥50 years, microvascular disease in any location, or foot complications or any end-organ damage from diabetes, screening for PAD with ankle-brachial index testing is recommended to guide treatment for cardiovascular disease prevention and limb preservation. In individuals with diabetes duration ≥10 years, screening for PAD should be considered.

8. Initial screening for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) should include assessment of lower-extremity pulses, capillary refill time, rubor on dependency, pallor on elevation, and venous filling time. Individuals with a history of leg fatigue, claudication, and rest pain relieved with dependency or decreased or absent pedal pulses should be referred for ankle-brachial index with toe pressures and for further vascular assessment as appropriate.

9. Provide general preventive foot self-care education to all people with diabetes, including those with loss of protective sensation, on appropriate ways to examine their feet (palpation or visual inspection with an unbreakable mirror) for daily surveillance of early foot problems.

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