Updated: Jul 30, 2020
March is a month that has many people reaching for their umbrellas, so it’s appropriate that it’s also Umbrella Month! Umbrellas haven’t always been the collapsible rain shields they are today. No one is sure if the original ones were for rain or sun, but they were definitely not made in the foldable style we are familiar with now. Sometimes objects transitioning from stiff to collapsible is a good and convenient change. Other times, stuff collapsing is bad—which is definitely the case for your feet. Diabetic foot collapse, called Charcot foot, is a serious diabetes complication that involves your arch slowly breaking down under you.
Something as serious and dramatic as a full diabetic foot collapse doesn’t happen suddenly. It’s a steady deterioration over time. Knowing that, and knowing how it develops, can help you avoid your solid foot becoming a collapsible one.
Charcot foot is a severe complication of advanced diabetic neuropathy and poor circulation. Diabetes involves wild fluctuations and high blood sugar levels. These elevated sugar levels damage many different tissues, including your circulation and your nerves. Impaired circulation restricts the nutrients available to your lower limbs. This weakens the foot bones over time, making them more prone to small cracks and fractures.
In a healthy foot, you would feel the discomfort from this process. If you have severe neuropathy, however, you can’t feel those changes happening. Since you can’t feel them, you don’t know you need treatment. You simply continue walking on bones that are slowly breaking down under weight and pressure. Eventually, your arch collapses and deforms your foot. This is Charcot foot.
The good news is that this does not have to happen to you. Diabetic foot collapse is not an inevitable complication of diabetes. You can take steps to prevent it by controlling your blood sugar levels and investing in regular foot care. Our team at Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC is here to help you with this. Make an appointment with our Metairie, LA, today by calling (504) 708-4810 or using the request form on our website.