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Charcot foot

Charcot foot is a foot deformity that results from nerve damage in the foot or ankle. The nerve damage may cause minor pain, followed by the loss of sensation and an increased risk of injury to the feet. When the foot is repeatedly injured, the weight-bearing joints weaken. Charcot foot is a serious condition that can lead to severe deformity, disability, and even amputation.

If you can’t get your regular shoes on, or if you have any changes in foot shape, stay off that foot, and report it to us immediately. If you continue to walk on a foot with Charcot’s joint, you will make it worse and it may breakdown fairly quickly.

 

Causes

Charcot foot most often results from nerve damage in the foot or ankle caused by diabetes. It may develop as a result of neuropathy, which decreases sensation and the ability to feel temperature, pain and trauma. Because of diminished sensations, the patient may continue to walk, making the injury worse. In addition, neuropathic patients with a tight Achilles tendon have a tendency to develop Charcot foot.

 

Symptoms

The symptoms of Charcot foot may include:

  • Warm to the touch (the affected foot feels warmer than the other)
  • Redness in the foot
  • Swelling in the area
  • Pain or soreness

A skin sore or infection may be present. Later, the foot becomes unstable and deformed.

 

Our Approach

Early detection and our treatment of the condition can prevent deformity and loss of function as well as possible amputation. One way to treat Charcot’s foot is to immobilize the foot in a cast or special boot, and resting so it can heal. Sometimes surgery may be needed to realign the joints within the foot.

 

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