How Charcot Foot Develops

Charcot Foot is an unfortunate condition that is the outcome of a chain of events.  It starts after a diabetic person who has had years of high blood glucose levels develops diabetic neuropathy from the excess sugar in the bloodstream.

The neuropathy,  which alters one's sensory capabilities, leads to problems in more than one way.  The lack of sensation in the feet increases the chance of injuring or simply twisting the foot.  The same loss of feeling weakens the normal muscle reflexes that would protect the foot, and over time the muscles weaken.  Read more about the stages of diabetic neuropathy.

The process so far may take years to develop.  Charcot Foot however can occur as rapidly as several weeks' time.  A twist or stumble may not produce any pain but can damage tissue, ligaments, and/or bone.  The unsuspecting diabetic continues to walk on an injured foot; over time frayed ligaments are grinding against bone, bone spurs develop, and eventually Charcot Foot develops.  The foot arch collapses, resulting in the classic "rocker foot" deformity.

Treatment consists of immobilization by casting and being entirely off one's feet for several weeks.  Charcot Foot can be devastating and permanent, and can lead to amputation.

The key is to prevent diabetic neuropathy from worsening.  First, keep blood sugar levels within optimal levels.  It can't be repeated enough.  A podiatrist is the expert when it pertains to feet.  Diabetics who have problems with any degree of neuropathy should be monitored regularly.

This video explains Charcot Foot:

A diabetic foot inspection needs to be done every day.