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What is Charcot foot?


Charcot foot, technically called neuropathic arthropathy, is sometimes referred to as diabetic foot because it is most commonly found in people who have diabetes. Why? Individuals with diabetes are at high risk of nerve damage—neuropathy—and poor blood circulation, which are the two main triggers for Charcot foot.

If someone has nerve damage or poor blood circulation in their feet, they may not feel it when they get injured. It's possible for someone to fracture their foot in one or more places and have no idea.

In theory, it may seem great to go through breaking your foot without even feeling pain or knowing it happened—but if you don't know about the fracture, how is it going to heal? That's when Charcot foot occurs. People fracture their feet and since they don't know it happened, they continue to walk on their injured foot. Walking on a fractured foot can cause it to get worse and eventually, become deformed.

Charcot foot can get so bad that someone's deformed foot cannot even fit into a shoe anymore. Shoes that fit poorly can rub the feet and cause open sores that could potentially become infected. If the sores get severely infected, amputation could be necessary.

Treatment for Charcot foot varies depending on how severe it is. Your podiatrist will almost definitely get you off your feet for quite a while to stop the cycle of injury and give your foot a chance to actually heal. If your foot has become especially deformed, surgery will probably be necessary.

If you are suffering from Charcot Foot or another foot deformity, contact Fixing Feet Institute at 623-584-5556 or e-mail us at [email protected].

Dr. Peyman A. Elison
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Founder and Managing Partner of Fixing Feet Institute