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Charcot foot (pronounced "shar-KO") is a problem that can happen in people who have nerve damage from diabetes. In rare cases, it is caused by other health problems.
Nerve damage in the foot or ankle leads to numbness, pain, redness, and swelling. The sore foot may feel hotter than the other foot. This increases the chance that you could break bones in your foot or have another injury and not feel it. If your foot gets injured a lot, the joints can break down, and the foot can become deformed. If you have severe Charcot foot, you may not be able to walk normally. The problem also increases the risk of foot ulcers and infections.
You can protect your feet as much as possible to keep them from being injured. If you already have Charcot foot, you may wear a cast—or a series of casts—for several months to help your foot heal.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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Current as of: March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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