What is Charcot Foot?

More than most people, diabetics have to pay extra attention to their feet. Diabetes can decrease circulation and lead to neuropathy. Ultimately, diabetics' feet are much more vulnerable to foot complications.

If you have diabetes, not only should you be taking special care of your feet, but you should also be carefully observing any changes in your feet. You might note swelling and discoloration, but you might also notice strange structural changes, like the breakdown of an arch.

Charcot Foot is a condition where fractures occur in the foot without patients realizing it, so they continue to do their normal every-day things without getting treatment. This usually occurs in diabetic patients with neuropathy. The condition can lead to severe deformities in the foot and could also lead to infections and amputation; so it's very important to catch it early on.

One of the first signs of Charcot Foot is for a part of your foot to be warmer than the other parts and for there to be swelling and redness. Often times , the arch collapses in one of the feet (it can also happen in both feet, but if you think one foot is looking strange, it may be helpful to compare it to the other foot.) Because of the neuropathy, patients don't experience pain so they continue to walk on the injury which leads to ulcers and deformities.

See a doctor if you see these symptoms in your feet. To avoid Charcot foot, try to bear a limited amount of weight on your feet and rest often. 

Dr. Harvey Danciger
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Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle
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