Stop Charcot Foot Before It’s Too Late

by | Dec 7, 2017 | Diabetic Foot Care

Charcot arthropathy, also known as Charcot foot, is one of the most devastating diabetic foot complications. The condition develops slowly but steadily, in patients who have already suffered from severe neuropathy and poor circulation. Bones that haven’t gotten the nourishment they need start to weaken and crack, dislocate, and eventually crumble. Severe Charcot athropathy can leave you with a disfigured, deformed foot, unable to support your weight and prone to chronic ulceration.

How can it ever get this bad? You have to remember the neuropathy component. In a healthy individual, of course, a cracked or dislocated bone in a foot or ankle would cause instant, searing pain. But due to severe nerve damage, those with Charcot arthropathy rarely experience pain from their condition. Furthermore, because the foot bones have gotten so weak, there doesn’t need to be an obvious collision or injury to break or dislocate them. This combination of factors means Charcot athropathy can develop and worsen for a long time without your knowledge.

As you might imagine, the earlier you can identify a problem—and bring it to the attention of the Omega Medical Group (OMG) team—the better we can help you. If you have reduced sensation in your feet, you should be performing a careful self-examination at least once per day, as well as scheduling regular checkups with OMG.

Charcot foot typically goes through three stages:

  • In the first stage, you may notice redness, swelling, and that your skin is warm to the touch—even if you can’t remember an injury. This is the acute inflammatory stage, and it’s the earliest warning sign that bones are starting to be dislocated or destroyed.
  • In the second stage, the inflammatory symptoms (swelling, redness, warmth) decrease as the body begins to attempt to heal itself.
  • In the third stage, the initial symptoms totally subside and the affected bones and joints “complete” the healing process. Unfortunately, so much damage may have taken place that foot remains significantly misshapen and unstable at the end of this process.

As soon as you notice the swelling and inflammation of the first stage, book an appointment with us right away. It’s possible that the symptoms may be something else, but trust us—you don’t want to risk it.

Fortunately, you’re in good hands. Dr. Marizeli Olacio specializes in all aspects of diabetic foot care, particularly Charcot foot reconstruction and diabetic limb salvage. She and the rest of the multi-disciplined OMG team provide advanced, comprehensive treatment solutions. We will do everything in our power to treat your Charcot arthropathy conservatively if possible, helping you heal quickly while minimizing deformity and maintaining stability. However, if necessary, we can and will provide advanced surgical reconstruction to give you the best chance of saving your feet and restoring safe, healthy function.

To book an appointment with us at one of our two convenient offices, please call (305) 514-0404, or complete our contact form online.