People with diabetes need to pay attention to their feet. There is a condition that people with diabetes should be familiar with: Charcot foot. Charcot (Shar-ko) foot is a condition in which the muscles, joints and bones of the foot degenerate. The normal structure of the foot is lost due to the degeneration. What once was an arch, will now look curved in the complete opposite direction, termed a ‘rocker bottom’. A Charcot foot may also form an ulcer due to walking on the collapsed bones in a position formed by weak muscles.
A Charcot foot occurs mainly in people around fifty and sixty years old who have had diabetes for 10 to 15 years. The bones are thought to disintegrate due to increased blood flow to the foot. Blood flow is increased in people with long-term diabetes due to decreased nervous control over the blood vessels. Normal vessels should constrict upon standing to help the blood get back to the heart. This reflex can be lost with long-term diabetes and resulting in excess blood flow to the bones. The increased flow of blood leads to increased bone re-absorption The bones weaken because bone being taken away is not replaced by new bone quickly enough. There are a variety of other processes in a diabetic foot that stray from normal and can aid in co-founding a Charcot foot including muscle weakening.
Podiatrists play an important role by tracking the health of a diabetic foot and maintaining it. With the help of your podiatrists, Charcot foot can be prevented. Live well with diabetes. If you have diabetes, let our podiatrists at Kansas City Foot and Ankle help maintain healthy function in your feet. With diabetes, it is important to check your feet regularly for any changes. Add our doctors at Kansas City Foot and Ankle to your team of experts who help you manage your condition. Call today for an appointment (816) 943-1111.