Using Toe Pressures to Assess Arterial Foot Health

The effect of diabetes on the feet and lower limbs has been well established both in literature and in clinical studies. Changes in the body can ultimately impact both the larger and smaller arteries in the lower limbs. Calcification of arteries as well as formation of thrombi (Blood clots) may lead to further problems that can end in death. As such, ankle systolic blood pressure measurements have been an important process in evaluating and monitoring lower limb arteries for onset of diseases such as peripheral arterial disease and critical limb ischaemia. Currently the most widely accepted method of assessing this is the Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI). Though this method is effective in identifying blockages in blood flow, recent studies have shown it to be unreliable in elderly patients, those with diabetes or chronic renal failure because the peripheral arteries may be incompressible as a result of calcification or blockages in these smaller arteries.

What does the Systolic Toe Pressure Machine Detect?

The newest technologies look to assess the systolic blood pressure in the toes as well as toe pressure indices. The readings are usually taken at the hallux. The results of these studies can be used to identify or screen for a number of medical conditions including:

  • Blockages in large and small blood vessels
  • Arterial insufficiency
  • Cardiac dysfunction
  • Ischaemia/intermittent claudication
  • Necrosis and amputation risks.

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How does Diabetes Effect your Feet (Part 2)

Diabetes and Associated Foot Complications

Building on our first piece on diabetes and their effect on feet, this week’s blog will focus on bringing light to some possible foot complications that may occur as a result of diabetes and some warning signs to look out for.
Diabetes can cause damage to your nerves and blood supply, putting your feet at greater risk of damage. This risk is only increased if the diabetes has been long standing, is poorly controlled (blood sugar levels are too high) or if the person is inactive or smokes. Changes in the blood that occurs from diabetes makes the feet and lower limbs more prone to infections and poor healing wounds. The fact that diabetes can also cause a loss of sensation in the feet, small and apparently harmless cuts can go unnoticed and with periods of weight bearing can break down and form ulcers that heal very slowly.

There are a number of signs and symptoms that need to be addressed immediately and others that can be taken care of regularly with the help of a podiatrist.

Some complications that require urgent medical attention include: Read more