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Preclinical Symptoms of the Diabetic Foot

Halil I. Bekler Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Yeditepe University, Istanbul, Turkey.

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Aytug Ertav Anadolu Universitesi Hastanesi, Yunusemre Kampusu, Eskisehir, Turkey.

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Background: The diabetic foot is one of the main complications of diabetes mellitus, with a high risk of minor or major amputation. The preclinical foot lesions of patients without foot complaints were compared with healthy controls and analyzed.

Methods: This study was conducted with 89 diabetic patients from an endocrinology clinic and 35 nondiabetic control patients. The patients were asked about the presence, types, and durations of pedal complaints; acquired and congenital foot deformities; and atrophy. Patient gaits were inspected for any swelling; skin and nail changes were also recorded. Ranges of articular motion, deformities, crepitations, and any painful perceptions were noted.

Results: The differences between groups were significant for sensorial defects, joint changes of the foot, nail abnormalities, and neuropathic changes.

Conclusions: Every patient with an established diagnosis of diabetes can be considered a potential sufferer of diabetic foot for whom medical therapy and foot protection programs are indicated. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(2): 114–120, 2009)

Corresponding author: Halil I. Bekler, MD, Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Yeditepe University, Devlet Yolu Ankara cad, no 102-104, Istanbul, 34752, Turkey. (E-mail: hbekler@yahoo.com)