One of the complications of diabetic foot is development of peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is decrease in light or protective sensation of distal extremities such as hands or feet. Patients with peripheral neuropathy can not detect possible injuries to the feet. Certain cases, those minor undetected injuries can lead to severe diabetic foot infections. Semmes-Weinstein monofilament is a tool that podiatrists use to exam for diabetic foot peripheral neuropathy.
The Semmes-Weinstein monofilament consists of a wire that exerts 10 grams of force when bowed into a C-shaped against the skin. Your podiatrist can apply the Semmes-Weinstein monofilament to 9 designated areas on the plantar surface and one in dorsal surface of feet. If a patient can not feel the monofilament, then those patients are considered to have lost protective sensation. Those patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy are at significantly higher risks of diabetic foot ulcerations. If diabetic ulcerations are not detected early and treated property, those ulcerations can lead to amputation and limb threatening conditions. Once the patient is diagnosis with loss of protective sensation, those patients will need periodic podiatric care. Routine examinations and screening can drastically reduce the development of the foot infection. Your podiatrist can provide peripheral neuropathy patients with valuable educations and screening methods. Due to recent advancement of the medical technology, there are new treatment options are available for peripheral neuropathy.
Vargas Foot & Ankle Specialists has extensive experience and training regarding the treatments of diabetic foot. We ecommend all patients with diabetes to be exam for diabetic peripheral neuropathy.