People With Diabetes and Others Need to Know About Charcot Foot

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Charcot foot, also called Charcot Arthropathy, is a disease that attacks the bones, joints, and soft tissue of the feet. It is dangerous and can lead to long-term damage and even amputation. It’s important to know your risk level, as well as the signs and symptoms of this dangerous condition.

Charcot foot is typically found in people with diminished sensation in their feet and ankles, usually caused by nerve damage from diabetes and neuropathy. Other contributors to nerve damage include infection, spinal cord illness or injury, and drug or alcohol abuse.

While there is a correlation between Charcot foot and the conditions mentioned above, there is no one specific cause for its onset. But some things are known triggers, including:

  • an untreated broken bone or ankle sprain
  • an unhealed sore
  • an infection

The first signs of Charcot foot include redness, swelling, and warmth to the touch. Because most people who are at risk of this condition have nerve damage that impairs their ability to feel pain, it’s common to miss the initial symptoms. It’s critical to be seen by a podiatrist as soon as possible to limit potential damage including broken bones, sores that won’t heal, systemic infection, and permanent anatomical damage.

The treatment for Charcot foot can take months. Standard intervention methods include rest, casting, and use of mobility aids such as crutches, a knee walker, or a wheelchair. Surgery is a possibility, but only after non-invasive treatment options have been tried. After treatment, you’ll need some lifestyle changes along with new shoes and custom orthotics that relieve pressure and offer support.

If you are worried about Charcot foot, if you are living with diabetes or neuropathy, or if you have any other concerns about the health and well-being of your feet, ankles, or lower legs, click here or call Abramov’s Comprehensive Foot Care at 443-872-7052 to schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova in our comfortable Pikesville office. Our experienced, board-certified doctors will begin with a thorough examination and a careful diagnosis, and then help you feel better with an effective and individualized plan for treatment and follow up care.