Charcot neuroarthropathy is a serious condition that damages the structure of your feet and ankles and can even lead to amputation. If you notice signs of Charcot neuroarthropathy, book an appointment with board-certified podiatrists Heidi Godoy, DPM, and Johanna Godoy, DPM, at Alps Road Family Foot & Ankle in Wayne, New Jersey. Charcot neuroarthropathy is a progressive condition that requires early detection for successful treatment. To speak with a podiatrist about your condition, call or schedule your appointment online today.
Also known as Charcot foot or diabetic foot, Charcot neuroarthropathy is a progressive disorder that causes the bones in your foot to weaken and fracture. Over time, Charcot neuroarthropathy causes your joints to collapse and your foot to become deformed.
During the later stages, Charcot neuroarthropathy can cause damage so extensive that it requires amputation.
Charcot neuroarthropathy is the result of neuropathy (nerve damage) that reduces feeling in your feet. People with nerve damage can injure their foot without realizing it. Continuing to walk on the injured foot results in severe fractures and causes your joints to break down.
The symptoms of Charcot neuroarthropathy include:
The earliest sign of Charcot neuroarthropathy is swelling that occurs with or without an obvious injury. Diabetics are at high risk of developing Charcot neuroarthropathy. Diabetes causes nerve and blood vessel damage that reduces sensation and weakens the bones in your foot.
Because Charcot neuroarthropathy is a progressive condition, early diagnosis is key to successful treatment.
Before you begin treatment, your podiatrist performs a physical exam, discusses any recent injuries, and conducts imaging tests like an X-ray or MRI to take a look at the structure of your foot and ankle.
Once you’ve been diagnosed, your doctor works with you to develop the right treatment plan for your condition.
If your condition is mild or in the early stages, Alps Road Family Foot & Ankle offers a number of conservative, nonsurgical treatments. Depending on your symptoms and the severity of your deformity, your conservative treatment plan may include:
The goal of conservative treatment is to address your bone and joint damage and improve the function of your feet and ankles. Your podiatrist may use a cast, boot, or brace to immobilize your foot and help your weakened bones heal.
Once your bones repair themselves, your doctor may recommend custom shoes to help you return to your normal activities and prevent further damage to your foot.
If your condition is severe or doesn’t improve with conservative care, your doctor may suggest surgery. The goal of surgery is to correct your deformity and restore the function of your foot and ankle.
The podiatrists at Alps Road Family Foot & Ankle have extensive experience performing a number of safe and effective procedures to treat Charcot neuroarthropathy. To learn more, call the office or book your appointment online today.