Diabetic (Charcot) Foot

Peripheral neuropathy is a condition of nerve damage, usually in the lower extremities, and is a complication of uncontrolled diabetes causing diminished sensation and decreased ability to feel pain and temperature in your feet. Because of this loss of sensation, you may not be aware of infections or trauma, and continue to walk, which can lead to Charcot neuropathy, a condition characterized by fragile bones that can break or dislocate even with minor forces. Initially, you don’t feel any pain and are not aware of any injury to your foot. Symptoms include redness, swelling and increased temperature in the affected area of the foot. If not treated, your foot may become deformed, leading to severe disability and may even require amputation.

If you suffer from diabetes, daily foot inspections and regular check-ups with your doctor is imperative. Early identification is vital for the treatment and management of Charcot neuropathy. The condition can be diagnosed by reviewing your medical history and performing a thorough physical examination. Your doctor may order X-rays and other imaging tests to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment is centred on reducing the weight on the foot. Your doctor may apply a cast or brace to the foot to immobilize it and instruct you to walk only with the support of crutches or a wheelchair. Following immobilization, you may be instructed to wear shoes with special inserts. You will be advised to modify your level of activity. Severe cases usually require surgery to correct the deformity.

Dr Andrej Nikoloski, Knee, Foot & Ankle Surgeon, Western Australia
About Doctor
Andrej Nikoloski
Specialist Orthopaedic Surgeon

Dr. Andrej Nikoloski is an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in Foot and Ankle surgery and Ankle and Knee replacement.

He has extensive experience and a special interest in the treatment of injuries of the foot and ankle.

  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Fellow of the Australian Orthopaedic Association
  • Australian Medical Association
  • Royal North Shore Hospital
  • British Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society
  • American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society
  • Australian Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society