About 9% of patients with diabetic neuropathy have had Charcot foot. Charcot foot is a degenerative condition that affects the joints in the feet. Charcot can occur in type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients. Early diagnosis and treatment are imperative to minimize morbidity and further complications.
Charcot foot goes hand in hand with diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic patients with neuropathy are at risk of developing Charcot foot because of the lack of sensation in the foot and lower extremity. Neuropathic patients often walk on an injured foot, and they may damage or cause breaks in the bones of the foot, due to decreased sensation and weak bone structure. Over time the joints collapse, or change shape, and eventually the foot may have a rocker bottom appearance. Some patients have a traumatic event; such as a trip or fall occur prior to the onset of Charcot foot, while others do not. The acute onset of Charcot presents with warmth, redness, and swelling, and may progress to a collapsed, deformed foot. When diagnosis is made, then immobilization with a cast or boot will help stabilize the foot, and allow healing. Depending on the severity, surgery is another option. Charcot foot may require months of immobilization for proper healing to occur. Many patients with Charcot do not present with pain, and this sometimes leads to a delayed or incorrect diagnosis. Some cases have a severe deformity before diagnosis is made.
Charcot foot can be devastating, but there are a few steps to prevent Charcot foot from occurring or recurring. One of the most important steps for diabetics is to keep tight control on blood glucose levels. Compliance with diabetic medications is very helpful in preventing neuropathy, which in turn could prevent Charcot foot. If neuropathy has already begun, speak to your podiatrist about treatment options. Doing daily foot examinations is something every diabetic should get in the habit of doing, and it is a good idea to contact a podiatrist if there are any changes in color, shape, or temperature, as well as any open wounds or calluses on the foot.
Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more tips for healthier and happier feet or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.
Columbus Podiatry & Surgery has opened a new location in Gahanna, near Easton. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.