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At-home self-monitoring by patients of daily foot temperatures may be an effective adjunctive tool to prevent foot complications in individuals at high risk for lower-extremity ulceration.
That is the finding of researchers at the Texas A&M Health Science Center in Temple, Texas. The researchers randomized 85 patients with neuropathy, foot deformity or previous history of ulceration or partial foot amputation into a standard therapy group or an enhanced therapy group for a six-month study.
The standard therapy group received therapeutic footwear, diabetic foot-care education and regular foot evaluations by a podiatrist. The enhanced therapy group received in addition a handheld infrared skin thermometer to measure the temperature of the sole of the foot in the morning and evening.
Elevated temperatures (greater than 4 degrees Fahrenheit compared with the other foot) were considered a sign for risk of ulceration due to inflammation at the site of measurement. When foot temperatures were elevated, patients were instructed to reduce their activity level and to contact the study nurse.
Only 2 percent of the enhanced therapy group had foot complications compared to 20 percent in the standard therapy group.
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