What is Charcot foot?
People with neuropathy in their feet often fail to notice injuries or broken bones in the area. Without treatment, these issues can worsen and change the shape of the bones and joints in the feet. Once a person’s foot has changed shape, they are considered to have Charcot foot. In its later stages, Charcot foot can cause ulcers and further deformities. In some cases, infections can become life-threatening and necessitate foot amputation.
What Signs and Symptoms Should I Look Out for?
While Charcot foot may sound scary, rest assured amputations are relatively rare, and you can avoid serious complications by watching out for the following warning signs:
- A change in the color of the foot (people with Charcot foot often find that the skin in the area turns very red).
- Swelling of the foot
- A change in the shape of the foot
- Warmth in the affected area
If you notice one or more of these symptoms, avoid putting too much pressure on your foot and give our office a call immediately. The sooner you ask for help, the lower your chances of developing serious complications. People with diabetes should also check their bodies and especially feet for wounds regularly to avoid infections and potentially life-threatening problems.
When Should I Go to the Podiatrist?
If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, we recommend you book a podiatrist appointment at least once a year. Our podiatrists can detect potential problems at an early stage and ensure you don’t suffer the unpleasant consequences of foot ulcers or Charcot foot.
Naturally, you should also visit our office whenever you’re experiencing foot pain or malformations that affect your everyday life. Whether you’re experiencing diabetes-related issues or not, our friendly podiatrists will help you get back on your feet as soon as possible!
Diabetic Wound Care Treatments
The best wound care treatments for people with diabetes are preventative. These include:
- Check your feet every day to spot unusual symptoms or malformations.
- Maintaining a healthy diet and stopping smoking.
- Adhering to any diabetes medication regimens prescribed by your doctor.
- Antibiotic ointments for infected wounds.
- Bandages to protect ulcers and prevent serious infection.
If you end up developing a problem such as Charcot foot, there may be non-surgical options available. These treatments include resting the foot for sustained periods and placing the foot in a protective boot. Once the treatment has run its course, you may be prescribed custom shoes to prevent the development of foot ulcers and allow your bones to heal.
In some cases, you may require surgery. Some surgeries are designed to reshape the foot and move the joints back to their original position. In very rare cases, amputations are required.
Need Help with Diabetic Wound Care? We’ve Got You Covered!
At Richardson Podiatry Center, we understand that diabetes can represent a daunting and worrying diagnosis for many patients. However, you can rest assured we’re here to offer high-quality assistance and treatment to help you maintain an excellent quality of life and prevent foot-related complications. To find out more or make an appointment, reach out today at (972) 690-5374 or fill out a contact form.