Why assess foot temperature?

 

A number of studies have shown that temperature or thermal assessment of the sole of the foot may have utility in informing patients and their health care givers in a number of conditions:

  • An introduction to foot temperature assessment - why, what and how (Powerpoint slides, download)
  • Predicting impending diabetic foot ulcers (DFU) - An increase in plantar foot temperature can occur up to a week before an ulcer appears (van Netten, J.J., van Baal, J.G., et al., Infrared Thermal Imaging for Automated Detection of Diabetic Foot Complications, Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, Vol. 7, Issue 5, pp. 1122-1129, September 2013, Full Paper)
  • Prevention of recurrence of foot ulcers - After healing of a foot ulcer, the risk of recurrence is high. For the prevention of a recurrent foot ulcer, home monitoring of foot temperature and other interventions prove to be effective (aan de Stegge, W.B., Mejaiti, N., et al., The cost-effectiveness and cost-utility of at-home infrared temperature monitoring in reducing the incidence of foot ulcer recurrence in patients with diabetes (DIATEMP): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial, Trials, Vol. 19, Article number: 520, September 2018, Full Paper)
  • Predicting vascular insufficiency - Decrease in foot temperatures may indicate vascular insufficiency (Nagase, T., Sanada, H., et al., Variations of plantar thermographic patterns in normal controls and non-ulcer diabetic patients: Novel classification using angiosome concept, Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic surgery, Vol. 64, Issue 7, pp. 860–866, July 2011, Summary - full paper behind paywall)
  • "A temperature increase of 2°C can indicate infection or Charcot foot" (page 31 of International Diabetes Federation Report 2017, ISBN 978-2-930229-86-7, Full Report)

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