Charcot Foot Collapse
The Charcot foot is one example of some of the strange diseases that can befall the human body. It is characterized by the sudden development of a severely deformed foot, without any history of trauma. And it is accompanied by no pain whatsoever!
This problem develops in people who have nerves that aren‘t working correctly, which is typically those with diabetes. This particular condition, known as neuropathy, has many effects on many different systems in the body, from muscle function to healthy skin.
Neuropathy is a key ingredient in the development of a Charcot joint, which almost always occurs in the foot or ankle. The problem starts with severe, sudden swelling, and increasing redness. The typical reaction of most physician is to diagnose an infection of the soft tissue, and prescribe an antibiotic. This will have no effect on this problem.
In the next stage, the two bones of the affected joint practically dissolve, fracturing into thousands of pieces. If the extremity is protected sufficiently during this process by immobilization and/or non-weight bearing, the micro-fractures will heal, like any broken bone. With sufficient protection, they will heal as they began, with normal anatomy, and therefore normal function.
If incorrectly diagnosed, or not protected, they will end up with a misshapen, disfigured foot, one that prevents normal gait, and more likely, will develop ulcers of the skin. All too often, these allow infection to develop, and amputation is the end result. All due to a problem that has a simple solution. And early diagnosis is the key!