The condition called Charcot foot can strike patients with diabetes who experience peripheral nerve damage. The insidious nature of this disease is that it can happen without the patient even being aware of it, since many patients who have diabetes have no feeling in the feet. Fractures and disabling deformities can occur and may even get so bad that amputation is necessary.
Some symptoms of Charcot foot disease:
A severe collapse of the arch along with signs of swelling and warmth are early indicators of a problem. Imaging studies must be performed to confirm the presence of any breaks.
Non-surgical treatments for Charcot foot disease include:
- Immobilization of the foot—The fragile bones need to have a chance to heal and any further collapse of the arch must be prevented using a cast or rigid boot. A wheelchair or crutches may be necessary.
- Custom made shoes, bracing, and orthotic inserts—When your foot doctor determines that you are ready to resume weight bearing, custom shoes with specially-designed inserts can provide the proper support and will help prevent foot ulcers.
- Modification of activities—Your foot doctor will help you devise an activity plan that will avoid causing trauma to your feet and prevent the condition from reoccurring.
In severe cases, the deformity may need to be surgically repaired or removed by your foot surgeon. The foot specialists at ETL Podiatry in Briarwood and Melville, NY, have unparalleled experience in treating all aspects of foot and ankle problems. Our team of doctors is dedicated to serving you with all of the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Melville, NY (631)-549-8637 and Briarwood, NY (718)-657-8921.