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Charcot Foot


Charcot is a devastating condition that can occur in diabetic patients. Peripheral neuropathy is the underlying factor contributes to the development of this condition.
Signs and symptoms
The earliest sign of Charcot may be a sudden swelling in the foot.
Warmth
Pain in the neuropathic (painless) foot

Causes of Charcot foot

Exact cause is not known
More blood flow to the foot causing erosions in the bone and weakens the foot.

Charcot

Charcot foot affects people who lost sensation in the feet and ankle due to nerve damage. Although there is no specific cause for Charcot foot, there are a few things that can trigger it.
Some of the factors that trigger Charcot foot are -

  • Any injury or Sprain on the foot that is not treated properly.
  • Prolonged period of unprecedented walking like pilgrimage, shifting the house or dancing with a friend etc
  • Even Foot surgery may trigger this condition.

People with diabetes may not know that their foot is hurt, as the nerve damage keeps them away from feeling the pain.
It is important that diabetic patients take preventive foot Care measures and seek immediate specialist help to avoid disaster later.

Diagnosis of Charcot

Early diagnosis of Charcot is very important. The podriatist will examine the foot and ankle to identify the symptoms. The doctor may suggest X-ray and other advanced imaging tests like MRI and Nuclear Scan to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of Charcot

It depends on which stage the foot is diagnosed
Acute charcot is early charcot with swelling,warmth with recent history of any provoking factors.
immobilization with TCC (total contact cast) till the angryness of the foot subsides and then custom shoes, and activity modification.

Chronic charcot is the final damaged foot with the deformity after the acute charcot foot was ignored.

In severe cases when the deformity is significant and if it's proned to get ulcers then preventive surgery is recommended.
The foot surgeon will determine the approproate procedures based on the severity of the deformity and associated foot ulcers.amputation risk is higher in charcot patients who develop ulcers.

As a preventive care, we advise diabetic patients to keep their blood sugar under control. Get regular checkups with our podiatrist to notice signs of Charcot foot at an early stage.

Authored By Dr.G.Saravanakumar M.B.B.S, M.S., D.A., F.P.S

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