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Re: [IP] Charcot's Foot
- Subject: Re: [IP] Charcot's Foot
- From: email @ redacted
- Date: Fri, 21 May 1999 14:35:25 EDT
In a message dated 05/21/1999 6:52:22 AM Central Daylight Time,
email @ redacted writes:
<< High risk factors are listed as people with diabetes for more than 10
years, who have loss of sensation in their feet, and are in their 50's and
60's. People with eye, kidney or nerve complications "appear to be at the
greatest risk for the development of bone and joint destruction".
Thank you for the wonderful post about Charcot's. I would like to add a
couple more things to complete the information you supplied.
In addition to the high risk factors listed, a broken bone in the foot or
ankle combined with neuropathy can set off Charcot's. A person can have a
broken bone in their foot and not know about because the neuropathy is
masking any symptoms.
In simple terms, this is what I understand happens: In an effort to heal
itself, the body increases the blood flow to the broken bone. Because of the
neuropathy it doesn't know when enough is enough, and over does it. The
severe increase in blood flow to the area creates excess heat (thus the 'hot
to the touch' symptom). This excess heat causes the bones to deteriorate and
Charcot's has three different stages and effective treatment depends upon the
stage when the disease is detected. The first stage is the destruction of
the bones. At this time, the bones look all "mushy" and without distinct
borders on an x-ray. If caught in this stage, there is a good chance of
stopping the destruction by eliminating pressure on the ankle and feet and
immobilizing the bones until the disease has run it's course. The second
stage is reformation of the bones. Think of the bones like dough and how
pressure will form this. If the disease is caught here the foot or ankle can
be immobilized and the reformation can be stopped. I don't know if there is
anything that can be done to correct the shape of the bone but the
destruction can be stopped. The third is healing of the bones in their new
shape. Once this has occurred there is no way to reform the bones. This
whole process can take anywhere form 6 to 18 months.
As in everything else we deal with, the key is early detection.
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