Charcot foot is a condition causing weakening of the bones in the foot that can occur in people who have significant nerve damage (neuropathy). The bones are weakened due to decreased density, enough to fracture, and with continued walking, the foot eventually breaks and becomes deformed. As the disorder progresses, the joints collapse and the foot takes on an abnormal shape, such as a rocker-bottom appearance.
Charcot foot is a serious condition that can lead to severe deformity, disability, ulceration, osteomyelitis and even amputation. Because of its seriousness, it is important that patients especially those with diabetes take preventive measures and seek immediate care if signs or symptoms appear. Charcot foot develops as a result of neuropathy and because of diminished sensation, the patient continues to walk—making the injury worse and the foot gets broken and deformed.
The symptoms of Charcot foot may include Warmth (the affected foot feels warmer than the other), Redness in the foot, Swelling and sometimes Pain. Early diagnosis of Charcot foot is extremely important for successful treatment. And the diagnosis can be achieved by history and clinical examination , X-rays and other imaging studies.
The Charcot foot can be treated non-surgically and surgically depending on the stage and progression of the disease. The non-surgical treatment consists of Immobilization, Custom shoes and bracing and activity restriction. In some cases, the Charcot deformity may become severe enough that surgery is necessary.The Podiatric surgeon determines the proper timing as well as the appropriate procedure for the individual case.