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Washington, PA 15301
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By Philip S. Pinsker, DPM PC
August 17, 2016
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Diabetes   Charcot Foot  

Charcot foot is a form of arthritis that most often affects patients who have neuropathy in their feet. At Philip S. Pinsker, DPM, we have seen severe deformity and damage to the foot as a result of this disorder which causes the bones in the foot and/or ankle to suddenly fracture and the arch of the foot to collapse.

Who Gets Charcot Foot

Basically patients with any kind of disease that leads to neuropathy are prone to Charcot Foot. This includes: diabetes, leprosy, poliomyelitis, chronic alcoholism and syphilis. Due to the lack of feeling in the foot, most patients are not immediately aware of the bones fracturing and will continue to walk on the foot, greatly increasing the injury. The pressure on the bottom of the foot that occurs after the collapse of the arch can result in open sores or ulcers, a particularly dangerous situation for patients with diabetes. The average age of patients afflicted with Charcot foot is 40.

Treatment Options

Early diagnosis is critical for a good treatment outcome. Since pain may not be felt, patients with neuropathy should check their feet daily. Symptoms that may indicate Charcot foot include swelling and redness in the foot and the skin may feel warm to the touch. If you experience these symptoms it’s essential to make an appointment to have our board certified foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Philip S. Pinsker examine your feet. (Approximately a third of patients with Charcot foot in one foot will also develop it in the other foot.) The foot doctor will want to know about any injuries and activities you were doing before you noticed symptoms and will also order x-rays and possibly other imaging studies to assess the damage.

Once the podiatrist has evaluated the Charcot foot, proper treatment can be prescribed. Nonsurgical treatments—icing, casts, braces—can help reduce pain and risk of sores but in many cases surgery is necessary to remove bone fragments and set fractures.

With Charcot foot the most important treatment factor is catching it in the beginning stages. If you have any suspicions that you may have this disorder, contact our Washington office for an appointment  as soon as possible.

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