Patients with diabetes have to closely monitor their body, and especially their feet for injuries. Charcot joint disease is a serious complication that results from conditions relating to diabetes. Charcot joint is also known as Charcot foot disease or diabetic Charcot foot. This is condition where the bones in your foot become weakened and are in danger of breaking or becoming deformed. The reason that Charcot joint disease often gets to an advanced stage without treatment is because patients suffering from neuropathy (nerve damage that causes numbness) do not feel the pain from injuries and continue walking on an injured foot, causing more damage. As this disorder progresses, the joints can collapse, bones can break, and severe cases can require surgery or even amputation.
Charcot foot symptoms include swelling, redness, and the area might be warm to the touch. Treatment depends on the severity of the Charcot joint and the damage to the foot. If caught early, non-invasive Charcot foot treatment, including rest and orthotics, is still an option. More advanced cases can require Charcot foot surgery and more aggressive treatment options. If you are concerned that you might have this condition, call us at 561-793-6170 today to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist in Lake Worth or at any of our South Florida locations, or click here to request an appointment online.
What is Charcot Joint?
Charcot joint is a condition of weakened bones in the foot. The bones can become so weak that they become deformed or fractured from continued walking and pressure on your feet. Charcot joint disease, also referred to as Charcot foot, is accompanied by diabetic neuropathy. Neuropathy is a nerve problem that causes numbness in the feet and extremities. This means that patients normally do not feel the pain associated with Charcot joint disease and continue to walk on your feet without seeking treatment because you don’t realize there is a problem. For this reason, prevention is one of the best treatments and includes daily monitoring of your feet and frequent examinations from your podiatrist.
Symptoms of Charcot Joint
Symptoms of Charcot joint can be noticed early on to prevent the condition from advancing. Early Charcot foot symptoms include swelling, redness, and the area is warm to the touch compared to other parts of the body. Even though this sounds like a painful condition, pain and soreness are not always felt due to the numbness caused by the diabetic nerve damage. Advanced symptoms of Charcot foot disease include fractures and deformity at the affected joints.
Treatments for Charcot Joint
Charcot foot treatment options depend on the stage of the disease. If caught in the early stages of Charcot foot, the treatment options include immobilization to prevent you from putting pressure on your foot until it can properly heal. Special orthotics may be prescribed and the doctors may recommend activity modification to limit your movements and the pressure put on your feet. If this condition is at a more advanced stage, Charcot foot surgery might be required to repair the damage.
Diagnosing Charcot Joint
What should you expect when visiting the South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers for Charcot joint disease? There can be a bit of apprehension when visiting a podiatrist in order to find out what is causing your foot pain or discomfort. The South Florida Foot and Ankle Centers doctors’ first priority is to address your area of concern and provide Charcot foot treatment. Diagnosing a condition like Charcot foot is done during a physical examination. The doctor will likely order x-rays and possibly other imagine tests to see the extent of the damage to your bones, joints, and tissue. All of our doctors have specialized training and have a great deal of clinical experience so they are able to give you all of the information that you need to help you make an informed decision, understand the options, and be a part of the treatment plan.
YOUR NEXT STEPS
The podiatrists at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers have extensive training and clinical experience when it comes to evaluating, diagnosing patients and providing Charcot foot treatment. Working closely with our doctors, following instructions for diabetic foot care, and working to control your diabetes are important parts of successful treatment. Our doctors will concentrate on relieving your discomfort and getting you back on your feet. We pride ourselves on providing a good experience during your office visits where you are involved in our plan of care, which includes state of the art innovations in diabetic foot treatment and prevention of complications.
Do these symptoms sound familiar? Contact South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers today for a comprehensive examination and treatment for Charcot foot. Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Lake Worth or at any one of our six locations throughout Palm Beach. Call 561-793-6170 to speak with a staff member.