Friday, August 24, 2012

Diabetic Foot Problem - Charcot Joint Disease

A Serious Diabetic Foot Problem

Charcot Joint Disease

Charcot Foot is the degeneration of a weight bearing joint in the foot. It is a process of bone destruction, bone resorption and eventual deformity.

If it is left unchecked it could lead to ulceration, superinfection, loss of function of the foot , possible amputation and death.

Diabetes mellitus neuropathy (the most common in the U.S. today, resulting in destruction of foot and ankle joints), with Charcot joints in 1/600-700 diabetics. The neuropathy is related to long-term poor glucose control.

One mechanism is the loss of peripheral sensations where you can't sense touching on the ankle surface. This can lead to minute further damage to the joint called microtrauma.

The damage to the ankle is unnoticed by a diabetic. This results in inflammatory resorption of traumatized bone that causes weakness in the effected weight-bearing joint that, in turn, makes the joint susceptible to further trauma. It is a vicious cycle.

It results, from the decline in fine motor control of the joint and unnatural pressure on some joints. This leads to more microtrauma. Desensitized nerves in the ankle joint cause an increase in the blood flow to the joint. This leads to hyperimia which leads to further resorption of bone tissue. The bone resorption along with mechanical stress will cause destruction of the ankle.

If untreated or unrecognized the final result may be amputation. In the serious states infection could set in and result in death.

Please continue to consult with a Diabetologist and ask questions if you suspect numbness in the foot and ankle could lead to complications.