How Can Patients with Diabetes Avoid Complications of Charcot Foot?

As a patient living with diabetic neuropathy, you know the importance of proper foot care. You check your feet every night for signs of cuts or scrapes, and keep your toenails trimmed to avoid injuries. But lately you’ve noticed something strange: one of your feet seems warmer than the other. Could this be a sign that your neuropathy is getting worse?

Self Exams help early interventionPatients with Diabetic Neuropathy Risk of Suffering Charcot Foot

If you were diagnosed with neuropathy, you must also be on the lookout for early warning signs of Charcot foot in addition to foot injuries. Charcot foot is a weakening of the bones in the foot, leading to fractures and deformity in the affected leg. As your ability to feel pain in your feet diminishes, you may continue to walk on a Charcot foot, aggravating the injury and changing the shape of your foot. This not only causes diabetic complications, but can affect the patient’s mobility and lead to balance problems and serious falls.

Early Intervention Is Key in Treating Charcot Foot

If Charcot foot is allowed to develop, patients can suffer disability or even lose the affected foot or leg. At Sierra Foot & Ankle, our podiatry team can prevent you from suffering permanent damage from Charcot foot by:

  • Immobilizing the foot. The foot and ankle may be extremely weak in the early stages of Charcot foot. To prevent fractures and allow the weakened bones to heal, many podiatrists will recommend immobilization in a boot or cast. In some cases, patients may be ordered to not to walk on the foot to prevent the bones from bending or fracturing under the patient’s weight.
  • Creating custom orthotics. After the bones in the affected foot have healed, patients will often need custom shoe inserts to prevent the condition from coming back. If the foot has changed shape, we can design an orthotic insert to correct the deformity and ensure a normal walking gait. We carry a wide variety of diabetic footwear in our on-site shoe store, and participate in the Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Program to help Medicare patients with diabetes get the shoes they need at no cost to them.
  • Providing activity consultation. Your activity level may change during Charcot foot treatment, but we can help you avoid a recurrence and stop the condition from affecting the other foot. In addition to a board-certified podiatrist, we have an on-site Family Nurse Practitioner to offer advice and insight on physical activity, helping you avoid future injuries and live a pain-free life.

At Sierra Foot & Ankle, we make it easy for patients with diabetes to get the care they need as soon as possible. We are conveniently located for patients in the Lake Tahoe region with offices in Carson City and Gardnerville, and may even be able to offer same-day appointments for patients who need emergency care. Contact us today at 888-608-8406 or fill out our quick appointment request form to have our staff contact you.

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