10 doctors weighed in:

How are diabetic foot infections diagnosed?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Khurram Khan
Wound care
3 doctors agree

In brief: Signs of Infection

Redness extending around the wound and either going up in a streaking pattern or circumferential around the wound, hot in the same area of the redness, swollen foot/limb, loss of function, severe pain (when normally you shouldn't feel pain b/c of the neuropathy) malodor and water or pus type of drainage.
Seek attention immediately.

In brief: Signs of Infection

Redness extending around the wound and either going up in a streaking pattern or circumferential around the wound, hot in the same area of the redness, swollen foot/limb, loss of function, severe pain (when normally you shouldn't feel pain b/c of the neuropathy) malodor and water or pus type of drainage.
Seek attention immediately.
Dr. Khurram Khan
Dr. Khurram Khan
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1 comment
Dr. Tariq Niazi
And the Dx is confirmed by blood work (CBC, ESR, CRP in series with increasing numbers), Xrays/bone scan if bone infection (osteomyelitis) is suspected. A MRI might be used for better delineation of the problem.
Dr. Scott Bolhack
Wound care
2 doctors agree

In brief: Diabetic foot infect

Even podiatrists and wound care specialists cannot agree all the time on this.
An ulceration in a diabetic is always an intense matter. All wounds have bacteria on them: some will be considered infected and others colonized. Seek help for any ulcer if you are a diabetic. Contact a podiatrist or wound care specialist immediately for assistance!

In brief: Diabetic foot infect

Even podiatrists and wound care specialists cannot agree all the time on this.
An ulceration in a diabetic is always an intense matter. All wounds have bacteria on them: some will be considered infected and others colonized. Seek help for any ulcer if you are a diabetic. Contact a podiatrist or wound care specialist immediately for assistance!
Dr. Scott Bolhack
Dr. Scott Bolhack
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Dr. Libby Putnam
Podiatry
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Evaluation.

Be evaluated by a podiatrist: they can treat an infection or wound.
Diabetic ulcers will generally heal if you offload the area (decrease direct pressure with an insert, or a wheelchair), have your doctor trim the callus and dead tissue away on a regular basis, and if the ulcer is infected, you may need oral or IV antibiotics, depending on the severity of the infection.

In brief: Evaluation.

Be evaluated by a podiatrist: they can treat an infection or wound.
Diabetic ulcers will generally heal if you offload the area (decrease direct pressure with an insert, or a wheelchair), have your doctor trim the callus and dead tissue away on a regular basis, and if the ulcer is infected, you may need oral or IV antibiotics, depending on the severity of the infection.
Dr. Libby Putnam
Dr. Libby Putnam
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1 doctor agrees

In brief: Foot exam

Your doctor will exam your foot and will make the diagnosis.

In brief: Foot exam

Your doctor will exam your foot and will make the diagnosis.
Dr. Steven Frydman
Dr. Steven Frydman
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Dr. Payam Rafat
Podiatry

In brief: Physical exam

A diabetic foot ulcer is best diagnosed with a physical exam. Your physician will ask you to remove your shoes in order to inspect your feet.
They will look for redness, calluses, bruising, blistering, swelling, and for open sores. Sometimes the ulcer may be hidden and will be discovered following the debridement of calluses or the deroofing of blisters.

In brief: Physical exam

A diabetic foot ulcer is best diagnosed with a physical exam. Your physician will ask you to remove your shoes in order to inspect your feet.
They will look for redness, calluses, bruising, blistering, swelling, and for open sores. Sometimes the ulcer may be hidden and will be discovered following the debridement of calluses or the deroofing of blisters.
Dr. Payam Rafat
Dr. Payam Rafat
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1 comment
Dr. Payam Rafat
Wound culture.
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