Catching Early Signs of Charcot Foot

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

October is a sweet month, as people everywhere begin stocking up on candy and other treats for Halloween. Even if you don’t provide sweets for trick-or-treaters, other delicious options appear everywhere this season, like caramel apples and pumpkin pies. All of these treats can take a real toll on your health—and it’s worse if you have diabetes. Of course, paying attention to goodies you eat is only part of managing diabetes. You need to watch your feet, too, so you can prevent serious issues like foot collapse. The best way to avoid this condition is to catch early signs of Charcot foot and take care of the problem promptly.

Charcot foot is a slow breakdown of your foot and ankle structures as a result of heavy pressure on injured areas and weakened tissues. Peripheral neuropathy dulls your nerves, meaning you aren’t able to feel small injuries to your lower limbs. Continuing to walk on these problems prevents your body from healing and causes the tissues to break down faster. Eventually you end up with a collapsed arch and serious foot deformities.

However, there are early signs of Charcot foot that you can watch for, even if you don’t feel pain, to help you catch the condition before it collapses your foot. Swelling and redness are the earliest signs of the problem. These symptoms may even appear overnight. You may or may not have had an obvious injury that you can connect the changes to. One foot may feel warmer than the other, even to the touch. Some people experience soreness or discomfort as well.

All of this is only noticeable if you’re checking your lower limbs for changes every day. This is a vital part of your diabetic foot care. Along with washing, drying, and moisturizing your lower limbs, take a few minutes to look for abnormal changes. Have anything unusual investigated immediately.

Noticing Charcot foot symptoms early can help you get the treatment you need without going through the pain of a foot collapse. If you notice any symptoms, let our team at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston know right away. You can make an appointment with us by calling (281) 497-2850 or by using the website contact form.

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