Charcot in foot caused by Diabetes | Expert Advice on Diabetes Health

Charcot in foot caused by Diabetes | Expert Advice on Diabetes Health

Q. What is Charcot in the foot caused by Diabetes?
Jack Yassel, Reading, PA

A. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, is one of the most common complications for people with diabetes. It can lead to a rare condition of the musculoskeletal system called Charcot arthropathy (also called Charcot joint or neuropathic joint), which is characterized by joint dislocations, fractures, debilitating deformities and ulcers in the foot.

Early symptoms of Charcot foot may be a sudden and unexpected change in the appearance of your foot or ankle, characterized by redness, swelling, and warmth. You should inspect your feet daily for subtle changes or sores. Treatment for Charcot foot includes rest, elevating your foot, and staying off of the affected foot until inflammation subsides and the foot is stable. Your doctor might also immobilize your foot in a cast. If foot ulcers develop, surgery may be necessary.

Most foot problems that people with diabetes face arise from two serious complications of the disease: nerve damage and poor circulation. One of the more critical foot problems these complications can cause is Charcot arthropathy, which can deform the shape of the foot and lead to disability.

There are treatment options for the wide range of diabetic foot problems. The most effective treatment, however, is prevention. For people with diabetes, careful, daily inspection of the feet is essential to overall health and the prevention of damaging foot problems.

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