Updated: Jul 30, 2020
There is a popular myth in which a Dutch boy notices a hole in the dike, plugs it with his finger until help comes, and saves his village from ruin. If you have diabetes, you could be the hero in your own story—by being vigilant about the smallest symptoms of diabetic foot collapse and taking steps immediately to prevent further damage to your foot.
You watch your diet, do the daily finger pricks, and clean and check your feet every day—because complications often show up there first—but there is one more way to prevent Charcot foot from destroying your foot structure: watch for certain symptoms.
This condition develops when nerve damage causes your bones to weaken and deteriorate. Then the slightest crack can cascade into a series of fractures and misalignments until the entire arch collapses. It causes deformity in the foot, opens you to pressure sores that don’t heal, and even risks amputation because of bone infection or tissue death. This is serious stuff, indeed.
How can you prevent this series of events? Here are some tips:
First and foremost, keep an eagle eye on your glucose level. You know it is important; you just need to follow through and do it. Watch your diet, exercise for good circulation and weight control, and take your medications.
Continue to check your feet every day for any signs of Charcot foot. They include redness or other discoloration, warmth, swelling, pain, instability or loss of sensation, and anything that looks out of position. When you faithfully check them every day, you’ll soon be able to sense when something is wrong.
Protect your feet by not walking barefoot and choosing shoes that are roomy, don’t rub or irritate your feet, and offer good support for your arch. You may want to use a foam insole as well for further protection. Avoid walking in places where you might be injured—like rocky, uneven ground—or participating in high impact activities that could cause a fracture.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary, call Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC right away so we can evaluate your feet. Diabetic foot care is what we do best, and we will find the right treatment to help keep your diabetic feet from breaking down. Call our office in Metairie, LA, at (504)-708-4810 for an appointment, or schedule one through our website.