What is Charcot Foot?

The Indianapolis Department of Business and Neighborhood Services performs an important function – granting permits for commercial and residential construction. When determining whether or not to approve proposed construction projects (and while inspecting buildings), this governmental agency is tasked with ensuring that buildings are safe for us citizens who will enter them. One of the key considerations in approving the work is assessing the stability of a building’s foundation.

Buildings aren’t the only places where a stable foundation is an important feature, of course. To find another example, you need not look any further than your own body!

When you consider how we are structured, it really falls onto our feet and ankles to keep us stable, upright, and mobile. For this reason, Charcot foot is a serious medical issue—you can think of it as being “an amputation waiting to happen”—that needs to be addressed, preferably at the earliest possible stages.What is Charcot Foot?

If you are unfamiliar with this particular condition, Charcot arthropathy is when the foot develops significant deformity when poor circulation and nerve damage are both present in the body. Poor circulation plays a role because it deprives the bones in the feet of the nourishment they need for strength. Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) can result in diminished sensations in the feet.

When the peripheral nerves are unable to report damage to the brain—in the form of pain—weakened bones can break without detection, be left unattended, and then sustain greater damage over time. (For this reason, we call it the “gift of pain.”) The cycle will continue to repeat itself until the deformity becomes extreme.

Diabetes often leads to the poor circulation and neuropathy needed to cause this condition, so individuals afflicted with this disease need to be very careful and inspect their feet daily to catch the foot deformity at its earliest stage possible.

Symptoms include swelling of the foot (especially when there is no obvious injury or reason for the swelling), redness, soreness, warmth to the touch, and, in severe cases, pain. If you recognize any of these signs, contact us for the earliest appointment possible.

In the event you are having pain in conjunction with your neuropathy, you should seek immediate medical care – this situation has progressed to a three-alarm fire!

Be sure to see us here at our Indianapolis podiatrist office for all of your diabetic foot care needs, including measures needed to address conditions like Charcot foot. We can help you create a plan to keep your feet safe and make sure you have proper diabetic socks and shoes. Contact us for more information by calling (317) 545-0505 or connect with us right now via our online contact form.

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