It’s impossible to overstate how important your feet are in daily life. They’re how we work, how we play, and how we get around. Now imagine you were at an increased risk for a condition that could cause you to lose your feet, and the warning signs were easy to miss. You’d want to do everything you could to make sure you caught those signs, right?
If you have diabetic neuropathy, you may already know that this risk is very real for you. The condition is called Charcot foot.
If nerve damage is severe, weak bones can fracture and break without you even noticing. As you continue to walk, the damage compounds. Your feet begin to change shape as bones disintegrate and joints dislocate and collapse. The result is severe deformity, skin ulcerations, and disability to the point that amputation may become necessary. Even your life may be in danger. That’s why it’s extremely important for those with diabetes to exercise preventative care and check their feet regularly for any early warning signs or symptoms of the condition.
Due to the lack of sensitivity from nerve damage, there may be little if any pain, which can lead to a false sense of security. However, at the early stages you may notice swelling and redness on your feet and/or feel a warm, tingling sensation, even if there has been no obvious injury or discomfort. Since these symptoms mimic those of other, more common conditions such as cellulitis or bone infection, the problem can easily be missed.
If you have neuropathy and you experience even a relatively innocent trauma (such as a slip, a trip, or a sprained ankle), play it safe: immobilize your foot and get it checked out as soon as possible. If you’ve fractured anything, continuing to put weight on it will only make the damage worse, and in short order.
If you have diabetes, you need to be checking your feet every day for signs of redness or swelling, even if you have not experienced an obvious injury or wound. If you have broken any bones, it is absolutely crucial that you call Dr. Darren Silvester at the Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic in Pleasanton, TX, immediately. Catching Charcot foot early could save your foot, and even your life. You can reach us through this website or by dialing (830) 569-3338.