For diabetics who are having trouble controlling their blood sugar, their feet can be affected. Nancy Naeve Brown asked Dr. Scott Torness at the Avera Foot and Ankle Clinic in Yankton about Charcot (pronounced shark-o) foot.
Dr. Scott Torness with Avera Foot and Ankle Clinic on the campus of Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton says, "Charcot neuropathy is a change is diabetics foot over a certain amount of time with many different thoughts on how that process starts. They end up having a swollen red, hot foot, but don't have pain due to the neuropathy so they don't often get it checked out. Many doctors think infection immediately since it's a diabetic and have a hot swollen foot. What they need to start looking at is ulcers on the bottom of the foot, changes within the foot itself and blood sugar and white blood count.
Q: I'm guessing when you first see this condition, the treatment involves surgery? How do you fix the foot?
A: The thought is to try and give them a good foot position again. It's been often believed you don't do surgery during the acute phase, but we found out that doing surgery at this time also helps to heal this us.
We try to relocate the bones that have dislocated and try to put them into a better position, give them a good stable foot to walk on and try to keep them without putting weight on the pressure points that they may get with this process.
If you are diabetic and have any signs of neuropathy (can't feel your feet) you should see a foot specialist often."