Charcot (say "shar-ko") foot is a foot deformity that results from nerve damage in the foot or ankle. The nerve damage may cause minor pain and then a loss of sensation that increases the risk of injury to the feet. When the foot is repeatedly injured, the weight-bearing joints start breaking down.
This condition most often results from nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) caused by type 1 or type 2 diabetes. People whose blood sugar levels have not been controlled well are more likely to develop Charcot foot.
Early signs of Charcot foot include redness, swelling, and increased temperature of the foot. A skin sore or infection may be present. Later, the foot becomes unstable and deformed.
Early detection and treatment of the condition can prevent deformity and loss of function as well as possible amputation.
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism