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This is a non-ulcerative foot condition that can occur in people with diabetes and is associated with nerve damage [neuropathy]. It is a condition that affects people who have lost their sense of pain in their feet. Pain protects the feet as it warns people that they are doing too much walking, standing or exercising. In Charcot foot the foot changes shape due to destruction of the bones and joints and this is not caused by infection.
However, it is difficult to detect and is often treated as an infection because areas of the foot become red and swollen. It may also be mistaken for cellulitis. Another problem with diagnosis is that the initial X-ray of the foot may appear normal. Sometimes people are alerted to Charcot foot if they have a history of injuries caused by tripping or falling. If the condition goes untreated or is badly managed, then it can have very serious results. Despite difficulties with diagnosis, immediate diagnosis and putting the foot out of action is essential.
The treatment of Charcot foot is continuous foot care education, protective footwear and routine foot care to prevent the formation of ulcers.