Charcot Foot

doctor inspecting a foot

Charcot foot is a condition defined by a weakening of the joints and bones of the foot to the point where breakage or deformity begins to occur. Deformation of the foot causes pressure points to form that can lead to ulceration, especially in diabetic patients, potentially resulting in amputation or infection. It is a rare condition that primarily affects those with diabetes mellitus or neuropathy. Dr. Steber works with patients throughout the Lehighton, PA area to prevent and treat conditions like Charcot foot before lasting damage can occur.

What Symptoms Indicate Charcot Foot?

The most common symptoms involve swelling of the foot, feet that are very warm to the touch, or are red. In addition to these early signs, a visible deformation of the foot can occur if the condition remains untreated.

What Is The Root Cause Of Charcot Foot?

Current science has yet to reveal a single underlying cause for Charcot foot, but the conditions that can lead to its development are well known. These include injuries or sprains that have gone unrecognized due to peripheral neuropathy. Neuropathy results in the patient having a lack of sensation in the area that makes injuries go unnoticed. Broken bones that remain untreated can also result in Charcot foot, and in rare cases, organ transplants have been shown to be a factor.

What Is Rocker-Bottom Foot?

Rocker-bottom is a condition that occurs when Charcot Foot is present in the midfoot. The collapse of the arch leads to the bottom of the foot becoming rounded, resulting in rocker-bottom foot. In some cases, the ankle can become unstable and deformed, and the toes can begin to curve like claws.

How Will My Podiatrist Diagnose Charcot Foot?

This condition can be difficult to diagnose in its earliest stages since X-Rays and other imaging tests come back showing normal. Those who have peripheral neuropathy and diabetes are suspected to be experiencing Charcot foot is swelling, heat, and redness are present in one or both feet.

How Will Dr. Steber Treat Charcot Foot?

How Charcot foot is treated depends on its severity and other factors involving the patient’s case, including their overall health. Treatment begins by taking pressure off the foot by having the patient avoiding putting weight on it. As the condition begins to improve, the patient may transition to a walking boot to prevent further deformities. During the “Offloading” stage, the patient will be equipped to avoid putting any pressure on the foot at all through the use of a wheelchair or cast. This will continue until the heat, swelling, and redness disappear and may involve several changes of the cast. Following this stage, they will be fitted with a walking boot.

If this non-invasive treatment method proves ineffective, or in serious cases, surgery will be considered. During surgery, the podiatrist will reinforce and stabilize the patient’s foot and ankle. Following the surgery, the patient will have to stay off the foot for an extended period.

If you’re concerned that you may be experiencing symptoms associated with Charcot foot, contact our office for assistance today. Our friendly team will arrange an appointment for you, and can guide you to printing and filling out your first visit paperwork so you can have it ready.

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