Charcot Foot Deformity Treatment Questions and Answers
Do you have a Charcot Foot? Don’t worry! At Hicksville Podiatry, Dr. Davinder Bhela, DPM, provides treatment for Charcot foot deformity. For more information call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We have 2 convenient locations to serve you in Hicksville NY, and West Hempstead NY.
What Is Charcot Foot?
Charcot foot is a rare but serious condition in which one or both feet or ankles experiences complete or near-complete numbness as the result of peripheral neuropathy. The bones, joints, and soft tissues of the ankle or foot are affected by the condition, with the bones becoming weak over time and more prone to breakage, while the joints in the foot and ankle become more prone to dislocation and deformation if left untreated. Numbness in the foot can result in fractures and other traumas to go unnoticed which can cause additional damage when pressure is applied to the foot through walking or standing. The foot can eventually become deformed causing it to take on a rocker type shape due to the joints in the foot collapsing if not caught early enough. Serious issues can develop from a deformed foot such as pressure sores developing in the foot or ankle. If left untreated, the open sores can lead to an infection and even amputation.
What causes Charcot foot?
Charcot foot is caused by peripheral neuropathy, which is a result of the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord becoming damaged. Damage to the nerves can cause numbness, pain, and weakness to the hand and feet, as well as other areas of the body. The peripheral nervous system is responsible for sending information from your brain and central nervous system out to the rest of your body. Sensory information is also sent from the body back to the central nervous system through the peripheral nerves. There are several reasons for peripheral neuropathy such as traumatic injuries, metabolic problems, exposure to toxins, infections, and inherited causes. Diabetes is one of the most common causes of peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can lead to stabbing pain, burning, or tingling in some parts of the body, including the hands and feet.
What are the symptoms of Charcot foot?
There are three different stages of Charcot foot, with each stage having its own unique symptoms. Stage one will present itself with significant swelling and redness of the ankle and foot of the affected limb. Compared to the other foot, it may feel hot or warm to the touch. Inside the foot, small bone fractures and swelling are starting to happen, resulting in the joints and surrounding bones becoming destroyed. The joints will lose stability, with dislocation happening. At this stage, the bottom of the foot can take on a rocker-bottom or flat appearance. Stage one can last up to a year if left untreated. In stage two, the body tries to heal the damage that stage one created. The bones and joints will slow down in their destruction and there will be less swelling and redness, with the affected area returning to its normal temperature. During the final stage, the bones and joints in the foot heal. At this point, the foot is often deformed and unstable, with the bones and joints not going back to their original position or shape. This is also the stage where sores and ulcers are more common which can lead to further deformity of the foot, as well as infection that could lead to amputation.
How is Charcot foot diagnosed?
Charcot foot can be difficult in stage one as the damage may not yet be severe enough to be detected on an x-ray. At this point, it is important to let your doctor know if you have any medical conditions that would put you at a higher risk of developing Charcot foot. Your doctor can check for signs of neuropathy through a physical exam, reviewing your medical history, and a series of tests. In later stages, Charcot foot will show up in x-rays and MRI’s but at that point, the damage will be pretty advanced. Understanding your risk and working to lower your risk of Charcot foot can help prevent it from developing in some cases.
For more information about Charcot foot deformity, call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We serve patients from Hicksville NY, Bethpage NY, Levittown NY, Westbury NY, Plainview NY, Farmingdale NY, Jericho NY, Syosset NY, Brookville NY, Muttontown NY, Upper Brookville NY, Greenvale NY, West Hempstead NY, Swedetown Village NY, North Wantagh NY, Garden City NY, East Hills NY, Franklin Square NY, Lakeville Estates NY, Queens Village NY, Alden Manor NY, North Merrick NY, East Meadow NY.