Diabetic Charcot Foot

Charcot arthropathy, also called Charcot foot, is often found in persons with nerve damage and diabetes because nerve damage doesn't allow for the feeling of foot pain. An injury that goes untreated can cause the foot bone to lose calcium and cause fractures, sores or change the shape of your foot. Other complications of Charcot foot include curled toes and a twisted and unsteady ankle.

Charcot foot affects people with diabetes or people who have nerve damage in their foot from other conditions, including:

  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • An infection
  • Foot sore that doesn’t heal
  • Foot surgery
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Syphilis

Charcot Foot Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

Charcot arthropathy can be difficult to diagnose. Often initial lab tests or X-ray images may not show Charcot foot. The specialists at Penn State Health have experience in diagnosing this condition and are regional experts in treating diabetic foot issues. Typical symptoms include:

  • Foot is warm to touch
  • Red flush color on foot
  • Swelling and pain

If you have Charcot foot or other diabetic foot conditions need to have regular foot care with a podiatrists to manage symptoms and help maintain your quality of life.

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Top-Ranked by U.S. News & World Report

Penn State Health includes the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, ranked as one of the best orthopaedic providers in the country by U.S. News & World Report. This honor was earned because our doctors consistently deliver exceptional patient care and outcomes through advanced treatments, translational research and provider training.

Experts in Podiatry

Penn State Health podiatrists are board-certified by the American Board of Podiatric Surgery, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and American Board of Medical Specialties in Podiatry.

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Our orthopaedic specialists work together through our dedicated Penn State Bone and Joint Institute. They provide you with multidisciplinary, tailored care and state-of-the-art treatments and technologies. All physicians at the institute are fellowship trained and subspecialize in additional areas of orthopaedics.

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