Charcot Foot: Charcot foot also known as Charcot arthropathy is a type of bone deformity that affects the bones, joints, and soft tissues of the foot or ankle. If a person suffers from neuropathy, the sensation in their feet and their sense of balance may be affected. It includes fractures and dislocations of bones and joints that occur with minimal trauma.It is important that patients living with diabetes, take preventive measures and seek immediate care if signs or symptoms appear.
Causes of Charcot Foot
Charcot’s foot develops in persons who have peripheral neuropathy, which decreases sensation and the ability to feel temperature, pain or trauma. This is a condition in which the nerves in the lower legs and feet have been damaged.
Persons with peripheral neuropathy do not understand that they have a broken bone because they cannot feel the pain. They continue to walk on the broken foot, inducing trauma to the bone. Eventually, the foot structure and sections of the foot collapse. While the midfoot collapses, it rounds the bottom of the foot and is known as a rocker-bottom foot deformity. Depending on the location of the bone break, the toes can commence to curve under like claws or the ankle can shift deformed and unstable.
Symptoms of Charcot Foot
The common susceptible symptom of early Charcot foot is swelling of the foot. This can occur without an obvious injury.
Later, while fractures and dislocations occur, there may be rigid deformities, including the collapse of the midfoot arch ( rocker bottom foot) or instability of the ankle and hindfoot. The characteristics progress through three general stages:
- Stage 1 (acute, development-fragmentation): marked redness, swelling, warmth;
- Stage 2 (subacute, coalescence): reduced redness, swelling, and warmth; x-rays show early bony healing
- Stage 3 (chronic, reconstruction-consolidation): bony healing or nonunion and residual deformity is frequently present-redness, swelling, warmth resolved.
Charcot Foot Diagnosis
In its initial stages, Charcot’s foot is tough to diagnose. X-rays are often normal. Charcot’s foot has diagnosed the signs of the condition. Charcot’s foot is suspected who hold diabetes and peripheral neuropathy and the signs are a red, hot, swollen foot and a raised skin temperature in the injured foot.
Treatment for Charcot Foot
Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent deformity and other complications. The strategy has three aims: take the weight off the foot, treat bone disease and prevent new foot fractures. Charcot’s foot is treated by reducing pressure on the foot and wearing a plaster cast to allow the foot to set and heal in the correct position.
When Needed Surgery?
In some instances, the Charcot deformity may become severe enough that surgery is necessary. The foot and ankle surgeon will decide the suitable method for the individual case.
Preventive Care for Charcot Foot
The patient can perform a vital role in limiting Charcot foot by following these steps:
- Keeping blood sugar levels under control
- Check both feet every day—if you notice signs of Charcot’s foot, and see a surgeon immediately.
- Be careful to avoid injury
Complications of Charcot Foot
Charcot foot Complications combine calluses and ulcers, that occur when bony protuberances rub inside the footwear and may enhance infected. Inflammation of the joint membranes (septic arthritis) and bone inflammation (osteomyelitis) also may happen.
Blood vessel and nerve compression may happen and usually do not induce symptoms due to the loss of feeling in the foot.