Diabetic foot disease is a disease where people lose sensation in their legs and are unable to feel and heal open wounds due to high levels of glucose in the blood. It can create infections straight to the bone, leading to osteomyelitis - an inflammation or swelling in the bone. If this is diagnosed early enough, it can be treated with antibiotics..Medical imaging and nuclear medicine studies use single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with different radiopharmaceuticals to detect diabetic foot. More recently, positron emission tomography (PET) with fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) magnetic resonance has become useful to detect the disease and evaluate the efficacy of treatment - imaging tests that help diagnose problems in the bones and define whether the infection is active or not.In people with diabetic foot problems, nuclear scans are used primarily to look for abnormalities of circulation and destruction of the joints which are caused because of diabetic neuropathy. It is a very objective way to look for inflammation in the various joints of the foot, localise the extent of abnormalities so that the managing Physician can accordingly decide the strategy of treatment. It is also useful for determining if the infection in the foot has reached the bone or not.How is the test performed?The three-phase bone scan involves administration of the tracer followed by immediate imaging using the gamma camera for about five minutes. Then there is an interval of about 3 to 4 hours in which patients can return home or stay at the hospital. At the end of about 3 to 4 hours when they return for the scan, it takes about forty minutes to carry out the scan.How are the results interpreted?The bone scan result is interpreted by two physicians (read by one and validated by another one). If required, we add an MRI to the procedure that helps to determine the structure of various bones in the foot with greater detail.Any advice you want to give to people with foot problems?People with foot problems having Diabetes firstly should not ignore the slightest of symptoms. You should always protect your toes and soles with properfootwear which are enclosed with adequate padding. Wear shoes with socks instead of slippers. Avoid uneven surfaces and use support without being shy whenever it is required as the risk of injuries is high on an uneven surface especially when diabetic neuropathy has set in.If there is any swelling or itching or an in- growing toe nail then you must immediately report this to an Orthopaedic surgeon or your Diabetologist for the proper management and treatment.Dr Shrikant V Solav did his MD in medicine from Bhopal University and diploma in Nuclear medicine from Mumbai University. He worked as faculty at BARC for a short period before working as in charge of nuclear medicine at Ruby hall for a few years. He started private clinic of Nuclear medicine called as “Spectlab” in the year 2001 and has published about 43 papers in peer reviewed journals. He is a fellow of Asian board of nuclear medicine.