U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention - Leading the effort to treat and prevent diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives


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Vibration Sensation Exam

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NOTE: Access to this information is not restricted; however, the information found here is intended for use by medical providers. Some videos contain graphic images. Patients should talk with their medical providers about any specific concerns.

Equipment:

  • 128 Hz tuning fork
  • Good lighting
  • Comfortable place for the patient to put their feet up
  • Foot cleaning station or non-sterile gloves

Procedure:

  • Tap the tuning fork on the ball of your hand.
  • Apply base of the tuning fork to a bone on the top or tip of the great toe.
  • Ask patient if they can feel the “buzzing” or vibration.  If they respond with a “yes,” tell them to inform you when the vibration stops.
  • An abnormal test result occurs when the patient informs you that the vibration stops before you can feel the vibration end.
  • This test can also be performed on the joint of the greater
    toe and the phalange or top of one of the smaller toes.
Overview How To Other Resources

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention | Phone: (505) 248-4182 | Fax: (505) 248-4188 | diabetesprogram@ihs.gov