First of all, Charcot foot is the correct spelling of the pronounced, but often misspelled Sharko Foot. Jean-Marin Charcot (1825-1893) was the first person to explain the joint of ligament disintegration that is caused by an injury or disease and thus the name sake. A proper medical term of the Sharko Foot is Charcot neuroarthropathy or Charcot’s arthropathy. The two bones in the foot most affected are the metatarsals and the tarsal.
What are the symptoms of Charcot Foot?
Some symptoms of Charcot may include ankle and foot swelling, loss of feeling in the foot, redness and/or a radiating feeling of warmth, dislocated joints in the foot, calluses and foot ulcers and weakness in the foot muscles. These signs can mimic the symptoms of thrombolphlebitis and gout. It is vital to visit with your health care professional immediately to avoid any further complications.
The main causes of Charcot foot are hyperglycemia that is chronic and Diabetes mellitus.
Although diabetes is nearing epic proportions in the United States, with medications, changes in your lifestyle and preventive care, symptoms will be minimized that can be problematic with your feet.
Untreated diabetes can cause damage to nerve endings, mainly in the feet, causing the patient to be void of experiencing pain, heat or cold. Without this feeling in the extremities, a minor injury to the area can result in a serious infections that spread quickly or ulcerations. Trauma to the foot that is undetected can cause ligaments to slack or lead to cartilage and bone damage, joint dislocation and deformity of the foot, It is important to find yourself an excellent foot doctor that will help you prevent any potential serious problems.
It is possible to prevent sharko foot syndrome and other problems associated with your feet by following some simple tips; keep your blood sugar levels within normal range, check your feet on a daily basis (as you will be the first person to notice anything abnormal), being careful to keep your feet out of harms way, and following your doctors instructions explicitly.
The best type of exercise for your feet is walking, as it improves circulation, assists in weight control and provides an overall sense of well being. Proper circulation helps the body heal more rapidly and fight off infections. Smoking restricts blood flow throughout your body and adds to circulation problems. Other tips in keeping blood circulating properly is to keep your feet warm by always wearing socks and wearing shoes that fit properly. Also keep your weight and cholesterol levels within normal range.
To properly manage Charcot foot, it is important to keep the foot stabilized, and in some cases it needs to be casted with fiberglass or plaster – this helps relieve some pressure and prevent any further damage or deformity. Bisphosphonates; a drug used to show positive results in Charcot’s foot management.
Left untreated, Charcot foot deformity will require surgery to realign the foot contours and avoid an amputation.