If you’re a diabetic healthcare professional, you know that you have a crucial role to play in the foot health of your patients. A 1998 study by Birke and Rolfsen published in Diabetes Care volume 21 showed that “self-administered sensory tests provide patients an opportunity to share in the responsibility for preventing diabetes-related foot problems but should not replace routine evaluation by a provider.” You are an essential part your patients’ success in managing their diabetic foot health.

Did you know?*

  • The ADA reports that 60% of diabetic patients have some form of neuropathy, and that 75% of amputations are preventable.
  • Inability to perceive the 10-gram load imparted by the monofilament is associated with large-fiber neuropathy and a 7-fold increase in the risk of ulceration.
  • 15% to 27% of diabetic foot ulcers lead to amputations.
  • 85% of diabetes-related lower limb amputations are preceded by an ulceration.

What is Fit2Walk?

Fit2Walk is a diabetic foot care initiative that empowers patients to take charge of their foot health. Our Fit2Walk kit is at the center of our mission, and when diabetic patients purchase this kit, they receive the tools and education needed to accurately self-screen for diabetic neuropathy and support the important humanitarian work that Fit2Walk does through its non-profit branch, Leap4All.

What are monofilaments?

Monofilaments are the international standard for testing for loss of protective sensation (LOPS), and the Fit2Walk kit marks the first time that they can be used for self-testing by diabetic patients themselves. In the Fit2Walk kit, patients will have four monofilaments for self-testing as well as all of the instructions they need to self-test and maintain good foot health. These monofilaments are pressed against key areas of the foot—testing sites—during the self-screening test.

What do the test results mean?

If your patient cannot feel the 10 grams of force from the monofilament in any one of those testing sites, then they are at greater risk for developing foot ulcerations or other injuries that may lead to amputation. Our Fit2Walk gives the patient the ability to log their test results and share them directly with you, the healthcare provider.

What are the next steps?

Your patient brings you Fit2Walk test results that show that he or she cannot feel the monofilament’s 10 grams of force in one or more testing sites—what are the next steps? As the patient’s healthcare provider, you will need to come up with a game plan for your patient encouraging him or her to:

  1. Exercise regularly
  2. Wear proper foot wear
  3. Monitor his or her diet
  4. Test his or her feet regularly (minimum every three months) for loss of protective sensation

Sources:

  • American Diabetic Association. Foot Care in Patients with Diabetic Mellitus. Position Statement. Diabetes Care 15:19-20, 1992.
  • McNeely MJ, Boyko EJ, Ahroni JH, et al. The independent contributions of diabetic neuropathy and vasculopathy in foot ulceration: how great are the risks? Diabetes Care. 1995;18(2):216-219.
  • Jeffcoate WJ, Harding KG. Diabetic foot ulcers. Lancet. 2003; 1-7.
  • International Diabetes Federation. Position Statement-the diabetic foot. International Diabetes Federation Website. http:www.idf.org/position-statementdiabetic-foot. May 2005.

 

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