Primary Care, Diabetes and Chronic Care

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Comprehensive Foot Exam for Neuropathy


Your health care provider should perform a complete foot exam at least annually – more often if you have foot problems to test for Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). Remember to take off your socks and shoes while you wait for your physical examination.

Call or see your health care provider if you have cuts or breaks in the skin, or have an ingrown nail. Also, tell your health care provider if your foot changes color, shape, or just feels different (for example, becomes less sensitive or hurts).

If you have corns or calluses, your health care provider can trim them for you. Your health care provider can also trim your toenails if you cannot do so safely. Because people with diabetes are more prone to foot problems, a foot care specialist may be on your health care team. This test is done by measuring blood pressure at the ankle and in the arm while a person is at rest. The ankle-brachial index (ABI) result is used to detect peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

This test is done to screen for peripheral arterial disease of the legs. If PAD goes undetected, a person may not realize that they are at higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

Foot Exam Results

The ABI result can help diagnose peripheral arterial disease (PAD). If you have blockages in your peripheral arteries there is a much greater chance that you may have these same blockages in your heart or brain putting you at much higher risk of heart attack or stroke.


A normal resting ankle-brachial index is 1.0 to 1.4. This means that your blood pressure at your ankle is the same or greater than the pressure at your arm, and suggests that you do not have significant narrowing or blockage of blood flow.


An abnormal resting ankle-brachial index is 0.9 or lower. If the ABI is 0.91 to 0.99, it is considered borderline abnormal.