1. Section Editor(s): Hess, Cathy Thomas BSN, RN, CWOCN, Department Editor

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Examining the Diabetic Foot

People with diabetes are vulnerable to nerve and vascular damage that can result in loss of protective sensation in the feet, poor circulation, and poor healing of foot ulcers. All of these conditions contribute to the high amputation rate in people with diabetes. The absence of nerve and vascular symptoms, however, does not mean that a patient's feet are not at risk. Careful examination of the patient's bare feet is needed.


Early identification of foot problems and early intervention to prevent problems from worsening can avert many amputations. Good foot care is an essential part of diabetes management-for patients and clinicians.


The chart (right) provides a brief overview of the foot examination procedures that should be incorporated into clinical practice. For more information, visit

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