We treat many conditions for our patients, but the ones associated with diabetes are especially concerning. Medical issues like Charcot foot highlight the importance of vigilant diabetic foot care and the high level of attention that needs to be given to the lower limbs by those who live with this disease.
Understanding Charcot Foot
This serious condition is connected to neuropathy (nerve damage) and weakened bones in the feet, both of which are linked to diabetes in a significant fashion. Diabetic neuropathy is a condition experienced by over half of all individuals who have diabetes. It may cause burning, tingling sensations that are painful, but even worse is when neuropathy leaves feet numb and unable to feel injuries that happen.
In addition to nerve damage, diabetes might also bring peripheral arterial disease (PAD) to an individual. This condition negatively affects circulation, which is especially problematic for the feet. These lower appendages are already the furthest points from the heart, and blood has to travel the longest path to reach them. When narrowed arteries decrease blood flow, it deprives body tissues, including the bones located in the feet, of the nourishment they require.
Weakened bones fracture easily and, when this is undetected on account of diabetic neuropathy, continued use contributes to further damage. This dangerous cycle continues to the point that the foot deformity becomes rather severe and appears to be extremely deformed.