High, Intermediate, Low or Nil Risk feet

Podiatrists classify feet according to a risk status- so what does it actually mean?

The risk status is the risk of something going wrong with your feet that could lead to ulceration and amputation of the feet. Accordingly the level assigned will indicate how likely it is for a negative outcome to occur.

Most feet attached to a healthy person will have a Nil risk. Indicating if the person was to injure or get an infection in their feet, they would heal well if they followed normal medical procedures.

Risk status of feet becomes more of an issue when a person has a chronic and complex condition or disease. The reason for this is that the conditions or disease start to affect body systems, such as circulation system , nervous system, endocrine system, musculoskeletal system, all which has repercussions for the bodies over health, and this includes the feet.

So why do we have a risk status for the feet but not the hands? Simple put , as the feet are further away from the centre of the body, there are more opportunists for things to go wrong. Blood has to travel further in longer vessels, nerves are longer, and cells need to use more energy to get the end of our body. It’s little bit like 100 people starting a marathon but only 50 making the finish line. Chronic and complex disease or conditions create the detours and the obstacles that prevent reaching the finish line.

When a person is diagnosed with a chronic or complex disease or condition, particularly one that is known to produce complications in the legs and feet, they will have a foot risk assessment conducted and a foot risk assigned. Depending on the level of risk, certain actions will be taken to monitor and prevent foot complications.

If in doubt about your foot risk status- get it checked, DON”T RISK IT.