Charcot foot is a condition that can begin with something relatively simple like a twisted foot and will usually develop in a matter of weeks.
This condition causes weakening of the bones in the foot. In fact, they become so weak that they can fracture. If the patient continues to walk on the affected foot the shape of it will change.
This can often be the case, because Charcot foot results in a loss of feeling of pain, temperature and trauma. This usually means that the patient will not realise there is a problem and will carry on walking on it, causing further damage.
Charcot foot is very serious and can lead to deformity and in some cases, even amputation.
People with diabetes are at greater risk of developing the condition which is why it is important to attend regular checks with a healthcare professional.
- The foot will feel warmer than the other one
- Swelling in the foot and possibly the ankle
- A stronger pulse
If the condition is diagnosed in its early stages, treatment is more likely to be successful. The doctor will examine the foot and ask about things that may have caused the problem. Usually, x-rays will then be taken.
It is important not to walk on the foot while it is healing, so a cast may be fitted and crutches or a wheelchair recommended for several months.
Sometimes, surgery is required but the doctor will decide if and when this is necessary, and obviously other methods will be tried first, surgery is a last resort when it comes to charcot foot.