Diabetic Feet – Filament Test/Tuning Fork Test?

How often do you guys & gals have your feet examined?

I’m just thinking back, and it’s been years for me. I think that most endo’s would make it part of the routine for someone like me (approaching 26 years of D in April), and I’m a bit concerned that I’ll have to actually ask to have them examined when I go in next.

Tuning ForkThere are a couple of ways that I know of for checking the level of feeling in the feet. One is to use a small filament, very much like a piece of thick fishing line. You close your eyes, then they touch your feet in various places with the line, and you are to respond when you feel it. The other is very similar, but it uses something kind of like a tuning fork (not sure what it’s really called). The doc will strike this thing on something to start it vibrating, then start touching the end to your feet. You, with your eyes closed again, will respond that yes, you can feel the vibration.

Another common thing is to check your pulse in some specific parts along your ankle and foot, which apparently gives some indication as to your blood flow down there.

I have not had any problems with my feet so far, but have learned to be very careful with them. Even growing up my mom always stressed wearing slippers in the house, and not going barefoot outside. I do check them myself fairly often, and apply lotion at least a few times a week. I wear hard bottom slippers at home, and the times where my feet are exposed are very limited.

One area that I don’t feel very confident though, is proper technique in trimming my nails. I’ve always heard “trim them straight across”. But what does that mean exactly? I don’t make it a habit to trim my toenails into a razor-sharp point, but at the same time I don’t like the edges sharp either (for when I play footsie with my wife or kick one of my kids in the butt).

I’ll ask about that when I’m in next too.

And no, I don’t really kick my kids.

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6 thoughts on “Diabetic Feet – Filament Test/Tuning Fork Test?

  1. I just got forked at my last appointment. (No laughing) My new doctor said I was fine as soon as I took off my socks. I asked how he made that determination. He said the first thing that will occur when there is reduction of bloodflow in your feet is you will lose the hair that grows on your feet. I have hairy feet.

  2. I don’t think Olivia’s ever had the tuning fork thing done and she goes to Joslin. They do check her feet on every visit, though. I’d never heard of either of these tests until just now. I’ll have to ask at her next appointment. I have to get a list going….

  3. My Joslin doctors have been tuning forking my feet for almost 20 years now. I have to fight the urge to hum every time.

    I have a podiatrist that I see from time to time (damn those ingrown toenails from waitressing back in the day!) and he happens to be a Type 1 diabetic, too. Very odd coincidence. I trust him implicitly.

  4. Z’s ped endo performs both tests at every appointment too. I’m glad you brought this up because he’ll soon start seeing an adult endo and I’ll remind him to remind the endo to check. It’ll be 17 years with diabetes this month.

  5. Taylor is 5 years with d. Her ped does the filament testing every 3 monthly visit. They do the tuning fork probably twice a year and she started seeing a podiatrist this year and will continue yearly who did both of those and more including checking the pulses etc.