5 Great Reasons to Accurately Diagnose and Track DPN
All those involved in the care of diabetic patients understand the value of amputation prevention. In addition to this obvious reason to diagnose DPN, here are a few you may not have considered. In the spirit of evidenced-based medicine, supporting links are provided to relevant peer-reviewed articles.
- ADA Guidelines cite neurological screening in the feet of diabetic patients as a cornerstone of amputation prevention (see pages s46-49)
The 800 pound gorilla in the room, this one speaks for itself.
- All neurological screening tests are not created equal.
Some researchers are finding our most ubiquitous screening method (10gm monofilament) a bit lacking. Is LOPS being diagnosed in a standardized, reproducible manner? Make your own conclusions from the research linked below.
- Pediatric diabetic patients with DPN are going undiagnosed.
Children and adolescents with DPN are flying under the radar. They are tougher to spot and often overlooked. This is a great opportunity to move “upstream” from the end stage result of an infected diabetic ulcer seen in adulthood.
- You can identify patients at increased risk for falling.
Fall risk is another neglected consequence of DPN. Sensory loss in the feet diminishes balance and proprioception. Fall prevention screening should include neurological assessment of the feet. Just might help avoid a future hip fracture.
- You may save the healthcare system money.
This may not the primary reason for preventing diabetic foot complications but certainly a nice side effect.