What Is Charcot Foot?

by | Nov 10, 2015

As we enter the heart of November, our upcoming Illinois winter looms on the horizon. It won’t be long until the temperatures drop and the snow and ice become a bigger part of our daily lives than most of us would like. This means now is the time to make sure your car is ready for winter. Catching a minor auto issue now can save you from being stranded on a cold night. In the same way, being vigilant about preventive care for your feet can help to the head off a serious medical problem known as Charcot foot.

This condition happens when the bones in your feet become weakened to the point that they fracture easily—even from simply walking in some cases. Charcot foot is often coupled with neuropathy, so you may not be aware that an injury has taken place. This means that you will continue to perform activities normally, as though nothing is wrong. In turn, this leads to more damage. The cycle continues until the bone structure collapses and the foot becomes misshapen.

If you live with diabetes you are at greater risk for the underlying conditions that cause this problem—neuropathy and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The reduced blood flow to the bone tissues from PAD serves to weaken the bones. The damaged nerves prevent the brain from feeling the usual pain sensations that indicate an existing problem.

The key components of diabetic foot care include both protecting the feet and inspecting them daily, to catch issues like this at their earliest stages for the best chance at successful treatment.

Whether caused by diabetes or otherwise, Charcot foot is a serious condition that requires professional care and treatment. If you observe the warning signs of this foot deformity, schedule your appointment with Prairie Path Podiatry. We will assess your situation and then develop a treatment plan that works for you. Call our Geneva, IL office today at (630) 845-3338 or reach us through our online form.

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