Amputation Prevention Program
The Synergy Health 360 – Amputation Prevention Program is an educational curriculum developed to raise awareness of signs and potential wound issues with members that are prediabetic, and to reduce lower extremity amputations in individuals that have diabetes or any condition that results in loss of protective sensation in the feet.
Addressing Five Keys of Prevention
Developed by primary care providers and Wound Care specialists, and administered through our integrated primary care platform, our Amputation Prevention Program is part of our Prediabetes Awareness Program and it addresses the five keys to prevention:
- Awareness & Education
- Annual Screening
- Lifestyle & Footwear
- Self Inspection
- Self Management
Awareness & Education
Taking co-ownership of the process and understanding self management techniques, our members become an engaged partner with our providers in preventing lower extremity amputations. This includes everything from actively treating their condition to being mindful of wounds that have not healed and bringing attention to these health issues as soon as possible.
The essential part of the prevention program is an annual foot screening that identifies any loss of protective sensation. Members with diabetes frequently have vascular insufficiency in their lower extremities, and the initial plantar wound usually results from an injury to a foot that has lost sensation.
Your first foot screen is a baseline that establishes any previous history of ulceration, weakness, deformity, and any loss of feeling or sensation. A foot screen should be performed on all members with diabetes during the initial visit and then annually.
Lifestyle & Footwear
Your lifestyle and hobbies often require specialty footwear, and these shoes, like feet, come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. Members with normal sensation in their feet can wear almost any shoe style with little risk of injury, but those at risk need to be aware that poorly designed or improperly fitting shoes can cause serious foot injuries.
Consult with your provider to determine the best footwear for your lifestyle.
Your daily self inspection is an integral part of the program. Every member that could be at risk should properly examine their feet on a daily basis. Studies have shown that daily self inspection is the single most effective way to prevent amputation, and this includes: early detection of a foot injuries (blister, redness or swelling), and callous or toe nail problems (thick, tender, long or discolored).
Our prevention program emphasizes the importance of immediately reporting all injuries and unhealed wounds to their primary care provider.
Diabetes can also affect the autonomic nerves in the foot and lead to dry cracked skin, increasing the probability of foot injuries and wounds. Our members learn about self management and prevention of dry skin, including the proper technique of nail trimming, callous care and simple wound management.
If any member is not able to self manage care related to an injury or wound, they should immediately contact their primary care provider.