Charcot’s foot, also known as Charcot neuroarthropathy or Charcot’s joint, is a progressive disorder characterized by the breaking and dislocation of the bones, joints, and soft tissues in the foot and ankle. It is a severe diabetic foot or neuropathic complication of the foot. The condition often results in deformity, instability, and an increased risk of ulcers or infections. It primarily affects individuals with peripheral neuropathy, especially those with diabetes, which can lead to a loss of sensation in the affected area.
The exact cause of Charcot’s foot remains unclear, but it involves a combination of factors, including:
Risk factors for Charcot’s neuroarthropathy include:
Early detection of Charcot’s neuroarthropathy is crucial for preventing severe complications. Some common symptoms include:
If you notice any of these symptoms, particularly if you have diabetes or neuropathy, consult a medical professional immediately.
Charcot’s foot can look identical to typical foot infections, such as cellulitis. Therefore, your medical practitioner or podiatrist will usually conduct a thorough examination and may refer you for various diagnostic scans to confirm the diagnosis, such as:
While there is no cure for Charcot’s foot, early intervention and proper management can prevent severe deformities and preserve foot function. Treatment options in Singapore may include:
To minimize the risk of developing Charcot’s neuroarthropathy or prevent further complications, consider these recommendations:
Charcot’s foot is a severe and potentially life-altering condition that requires prompt attention and treatment. By seeking medical attention early, you can prevent foot deformities associated with this condition. We also highly recommend that individuals with diabetes undergo regular foot screening annually.
While no specific statistics are available for the prevalence of Charcot’s foot in Singapore, the condition is generally more common among individuals with diabetes and peripheral neuropathy. Considering that Singapore has a high prevalence of diabetes, those affected by the disease must be aware of the risks and symptoms associated with Charcot’s neuroarthropathy.
If left untreated or not appropriately managed, Charcot’s foot can lead to severe deformity, chronic ulcers, infections, and amputation. Early detection and treatment and regular check-ups with a medical professional can significantly reduce the risk of amputation.
Specialized clinics and hospitals in Singapore have expert podiatrists and orthopaedic surgeons who can diagnose and manage Charcot’s foot. Our podiatrists are highly experienced in managing and preventing complications associated with diabetes, including Charcot’s neuroarthropathy.
The ability to continue working and participating in daily activities while undergoing treatment for Charcot’s foot depends on the severity of your condition and the treatment you need. Generally, we strongly advise limiting your weight-bearing activities and always using the prescribed devices, cast, or boots to protect your foot. You should only return to normal activities when your medical professionals advise so. Prioritizing your foot’s healing and avoiding activities that could exacerbate the condition or hinder recovery is crucial.
To reduce the risk of developing Charcot’s foot, individuals with diabetes in Singapore should: