Charcot foot can be a very dangerous condition if not treated. People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing this problem, so it is of the utmost importance to manage your disease and check your feet daily for anything that looks out of the ordinary.
What is Charcot Foot?
This condition is found in people who suffer from peripheral neuropathy caused by nerve damage, often associated with diabetes. It creates weak bones that can shatter, which can lead to deformities in the feet. Due to the neuropathy, the person suffering from this condition may not even feel or notice a problem until it is too late. They can break a bone and continue to walk on it, causing additional damage. Symptoms to look for include redness or swelling, feeling warmth when you touch your foot, and possible pain or soreness. You may not always feel the pain though, so it is important not to rely on that symptom. If left untreated this condition can lead to serious foot deformities, and may even result in amputation. Checking your feet daily will help to catch the problem before it becomes an even bigger issue.
Diabetic Foot Checks
If you have diabetes, when it comes to your feet, you have more to worry about than the average person. There are a number of conditions that can affect your lower extremities. One way to catch and treat these foot conditions is by checking your feet daily. Peripheral neuropathy caused by nerve damage can prevent you from feeling pain. You must rely on your other senses to notice a problem. You should turn this into a ritual, for example always checking right after a shower. Make sure you look in every nook and cranny, even between your toes. Sometimes an ulcer can hide in an unnoticeable place, so being thorough becomes very important. If you cannot reach a certain area with your eyes, you can utilize a mirror or even have someone help you look. If you notice that anything looks out of the ordinary you should make an appointment with us immediately for treatment to begin. Do not let wounds fester as they may turn into something more serious and damaging.
Treatment of Charcot Foot
Treating this condition typically involves realignment and complete immobilization of the foot. This means that you may not put any weight on your foot until your bones have healed the entire way. You may be in a wheelchair or use crutches. You may also be required to wear a boot or a cast for this period of time. As soon as it becomes safe to do so, it may be necessary to wear custom-made shoes or orthotics that protect your feet. If your foot has become severely deformed you may also need to wear braces to hold your feet in a more natural position. Additionally, you will have to modify your activity level. This means no running or jumping or engaging in activities that might further hurt your feet. Usually if Charcot foot occurs in one foot it may occur in the other. In severe cases where the deformity has done too much damage, it may be necessary to undergo surgery.
We Can Help
For more information on protecting your feet from Charcot foot, call Dr. Robert Parker at (281) 497-2850 to schedule an appointment at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX today.