Charcot foot affects the nerves and blood supply of the foot, these systems are damaged and as a result the bones and joints become weakened and possibly damaged. The foot can become misshapen due to the bones collapsing, and there can be a lack of feeling in the foot due to the nerve damage. The common symptoms to look for include redness, swelling, pain, instability of the joints, loss of feeling and deformity. 

Charcot foot is seen in patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and sometimes in patients diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy. Many times Charcot foot goes undiagnosed because the patient has no feeling in their foot and they don’t notice that anything is wrong. However if you do notice any of the above symptoms it is important to make an appointment with your local podiatrist at Affiliated Foot and Ankle Care in Edison and Monroe NJ.

When you go to see your podiatrist they will diagnose Charcot foot by taking x-rays and performing function and sensation exams. Sometimes Charcot foot can mimic other diseases and can be difficult to diagnose, however your podiatrist can diagnose it properly if it is caught early! Catching this disease in its early stages is very important to prevent serious injury and damage to the foot.

The most important thing when treating Charcot foot is to stabilize the joints. This can be done by immobilization with a cast or walking boot, crutches to prevent weight bearing and custom shoes and braces can be used. In severe cases surgery may be required to fix the joints and deformities. Surgery can be done to remove excess bone or cartilage; it can also be done to realign different parts of the foot that may have moved from their original position. After surgery immobilization is very important for the foot to heal.

By Nrupa Shah