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From Westminster, Maryland, USA:

I a 44 year old male with type 1 diabetes, diagnosed when I was 25. I was just told I have foot problems known as Charcot disorder, affecting my right foot. I have been in a cast for last three months, and my doctor now recommends surgery. What role does diabetes play in this? Will my recovery time be longer since I have diabetes? Are there any complications or things I should know?


The disorder I think you are referring to is called a Charcot foot. It results in progressive destruction of joints in limbs where diabetic neuropathy has developed. Recurrent injury and microfractures occur without a sense of these happening by the patient. Eventually, you end up with a deformed joint with limited function.

The problem is difficult to treat. Surgical approaches to the problem are usually necessitated because healing or function cannot be reestablished in other ways. I would make sure that you speak directly to your foot surgeon regarding goals for surgical intervention in your case. Any time the foot is cut on in diabetes, there is a risk of poor healing, especially with poor blood sugar control. Please discuss your level of glucose control with your physician caring for your diabetes. If the surgery is elective and if you need extra time to get better blood sugar control, it is well worth it.


Original posting 14 Jan 2001
Posted to Complications


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:18
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