New evidence shows that adults with diabetes can reduce their chances of hospitalization and
amputation with just one visit to a podiatrist, according to a recent study conducted by Thomas Reuters.
These study results come at an important time when one amputation takes place every 30 seconds in
the United States. Further, it is predicted that one in three adults will have diabetes by 2050.
The study examined the medical records of 32,000 diabetes patients between the ages of 18-64. By
comparing those who had foot exams against those who did not, the study found that those who
received foot care from a podiatric physician are almost 29 percent less likely to require amputation
than those who did not. In addition, those who had a foot exam are 24 percent less likely to require
“Because many serious complications from diabetes present in the lower limbs, proper foot care for
people with diabetes is a vital step to keeping the disease in check,” according to the American Podiatric
Medical Association (APMA). In 2007, the APMA launched the “Knock Your Socks Off” campaign to
educate diabetes patients about the importance of foot screenings.
The results of this study are groundbreaking and important in diabetes research. Before now, podiatrist
visits were considered optional. “No longer can care by a podiatrist be considered optional for those
with diabetes,” says Vickie R. Driver, MS, DPM. “The earlier a podiatrist is included in the diabetes
management team, the better quality of life for the patient and greater health-care cost savings for all
involved. This study clearly allows us to understand both the clinical and economic value of a podiatrist,
in the team approach to saving diabetic patients’ feet.”
During a routine foot exam, something as simple as a new shoe recommendation or a prescription for
seamless, diabetic socks can improve the foot health of a diabetic. Because diabetics lose feeling in their
feet, diabetic socks reduce the chances of undetected cuts and sores developing on the feet, which can
lead to serious medical problems or amputation.