Charcot Foot Syndrome

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Charcot Foot Syndrome (also known as Charcot Neuropathic Foot, Charcot Arthropathy or Diabetic Charcot Foot) is a rare progressive condition that primary affects the bones, joints and the soft tissues of the foot and ankle. Although very rare amongst the general population it is more commonly seen in diabetic patients. The exact cause of the condition is unknown however there are various theories. It is thought to be caused through a combination of trauma and continued weight bearing on a neuropathic foot resulting in uncontrolled inflammation and a breakdown of the bones and joints of the foot. However this has yet to be proven as to be the exact cause and is still theoretical at this stage
In the early stages of the condition there is usually pain or discomfort within the affected foot precipitated by an injury. Once the foot progresses to the chronic stage it can often become painless and early symptoms of the condition disappear. Other symptoms of Charcot Foot Syndrome in the early stage include: – Redness on the foot – The affected foot is usually 2 degrees warmer than the unaffected foot. – Lots of inflammation and swelling – Bone Stress fractures – The middle of the foot begins to collapse – Diabetic Neuropathy is always present In the late stage of the condition it is usually painless and often progresses to a ‘rocker bottom’ foot with no swelling or temperature difference in relation to the unaffected leg. Bone remodelling and fusion or large bone fragments is commonly seen on X-ray.
– Regular Podiatric Care with debridement and offloading devices
– Immobilisation
– Protected ambulation
– Last resort surgery

If you notice any of the symptoms of a Charcot Foot please seek medical attention as early as possible. Early intervention can help prevent the long term effects and complications of the condition. It is important to follow diabetic foot care advice and to have an annual foot check with a podiatrist.

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