Charcot foot is a foot condition that is caused by neuropathy or the loss of sensation in the feet. Nerve damage leads to the loss of sensation which increases the risk for foot injuries. Repeated injuries to the bones and joints can lead to long term damage to the structures of the feet. This is often noticed when symptoms have become so severe. Without proper treatment, this may require serious medical intervention such as amputation.
Symptoms of Charcot Foot
A Charcot foot may remain relatively unnoticed because of the loss of sensation in the feet. Swelling and redness are the first noticeable symptoms. This is because it can be detected visually. The loss of sensation makes it impossible to experience pain when injury has occurred. If untreated, this can lead to foot deformities, fallen arch or ankle instability.
Because of its nature, diabetics are advised to visit a podiatrist regularly. This is to enable early detection and treatment. The doctors at Long Island Foot and Ankle Group are podiatrists in helping people suffering from Charcot foot.
Possible Causes of Charcot Foot
Diabetics are at high risk for developing Charcot foot. This is because diabetes can lead to peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage in the feet. Other conditions that can cause Charcot foot are leprosy, alcoholism, syphilis and smoking.
Repeated trauma and injury to the feet when left untreated can cause dislocation and fractures. Problems with circulation can interfere with the flow of nutrients to the feet which can lead to bone weakening. This makes the bones more susceptible to dislocation and fractures.
- Signs and symptoms of Charcot feet may remain undetectable for weeks or months. Charcot foot may only be suspected when the first visible signs are evident or when the patient experiences difficulty in moving the feet. Redness, tenderness and warmth in the foot are the earliest signs of the foot condition. Pain is also expressed by patients with less severe peripheral neuropathy. It only becomes evident with the development of a foot deformity.
- Non-surgical treatments are available for treating Charcot foot. This includes the use of splints, walking braces and even a cast. Patients who are undergoing treatment are discouraged from any weight bearing activities until the foot is healed. After the foot has been stabilized, a podiatrist recommends the use of protective foot ware and therapeutic shoes.
At Long Island Foot and Ankle Group with offices located in Valley Stream and Lake Success, we specialize in helping people with Charcot foot. To schedule an appointment phone Valley Stream (516) 825-4070 or Lake Success (516) 327-0074.