Charcot foot is the condition of weakened bones in the foot due to the damaged nerves. The bones become weak due to fracture or any other serious injury and gradually it changes its shape owing to repeated usage. When left untreated it may cause severe damage to the individual thereby producing disability to walk or in some cases it results in amputation of the foot. It is necessary for the patients to look out for the signs and symptoms and take regular treatment for controlling the formation of Charcot foot. Individuals who have previous history of diabetes should take more precautions for preventing this disorder.
Charcot foot is characterized by the presence of some of the symptoms like red coloration in the foot, warmth in the foot area. The foot will be warmer when compared to other parts of the body. In some cases the patients report of severe pain and swelling or inflammation in the affected foot. Since the disorder of Charcot foot is due to the nerve damage or neuropathy it will certainly decrease the sensation of the affected part. Subsequently the patient will not feel the changes, pain or even temperature changes in the foot. He will continue to walk and carry on his routine work unknowingly. After some months the illness may get intense and makes the person unable to walk.
The only possible cause for Charcot foot is the damage of nerve cells. It may be due to weakening of autoimmune system or due to high blood sugar. More commonly the patients with Achilles tendon will develop Charcot foot easily. The disorder can be diagnosed by X-ray and periodical checkups with the doctor.
It is vital to follow the guidelines of your doctor once you are diagnosed to have Charcot foot, failing which you are at the risk of losing your foot or leg. When diagnosed at the early stages, Charcot foot can be cured completely without surgery. The doctor would advice the patient to be on wheelchair or crutches until the bones have healed out fully. The foot portion should not be put under pressure to avoid further damage. In some cases, custom shoes are used for managing the bones in good condition. For many individuals lifestyle modification is enough to cure Charcot foot. In extreme cases surgery is done for treating the damaged bones in the foot.
Diabetic patients and other persons who have history of nerve damage should visit their doctor periodically for checking their foot and ankle so that they can prevent the disorder of Charcot foot.