If you’re ever looking for a scenic walk that clearly shows the signs of spring’s arrival, the New Orleans Garden District is it. This stunning neighborhood is packed with large, historical homes and beautiful gardens, making it a nice place for a walk. Although some signs of change are obvious, like blooming gardens in spring, others are far more subtle—like those for diabetic foot collapse. You have to be paying attention to notice these changes.
Diabetic foot collapse, more properly known as Charcot foot, is an extremely serious complication that can develop if you have advanced nerve damage in your feet. The fluctuating sugar levels in your blood weakens your bones and impairs your nerves, allowing the arch of your foot to slowly break down. Because your nerves are impaired, you can’t feel this deterioration taking place—allowing the problem to get worse and worse.
Since you cannot feel your foot collapsing, you can’t count on pain to help you recognize that all is not well in your lower limbs. You need other signs of Charcot foot to warn you about the damage. This is why you have to be very familiar with your feet and your general foot care.
You have to be able to recognize changes when you check your feet every day. Here are a few signs of a collapsing foot that you should be aware of:
Swelling – Usually the first sign is swelling, often without an obvious injury to explain it.
Redness – As the foot grows more inflamed, the skin can appear red and irritated.
Heat – Inflammation also causes heat to radiate from your skin, making your foot feel warm to the touch.
Instability or dislocation of joints – As the foot breaks down, joints will grow unstable and start to dislocate or deform.
The more the problem has progressed, the worse the deformity will become. Ulcers will be more common and eventually you could require an amputation. You never have to reach that point, however. Recognizing the signs of a problem and getting immediate care, as well as investing in preventative steps, can keep you on your feet and strong. Let our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC help you address your foot care before you develop a diabetic foot collapse. Just call (504) 708-4810 for an appointment.