Diabetes is a condition of elevated blood sugar that affects about 6 percent of the population in the United States, or about 16 million people. Diabetic (Charcot) foot problems are a major health concern and are a common cause of hospitalization.
Most foot problems that people with diabetes face arise from two serious complications of the disease: nerve damage and poor circulation. One of the more critical foot problems these complications can cause is Charcot arthropathy, which can deform the shape of the foot and lead to disability.
There are treatment options for the wide range of diabetic foot problems. The most effective treatment, however, is prevention. For people with diabetes, careful, daily inspection of the feet is essential to overall health and the prevention of damaging foot problems.
Nerve damage (neuropathy) is a complication of diabetes that leads to a loss of sensation in the feet. Some people with diabetes can no longer feel when something has irritated or even punctured the skin. A wound as small as a blister can progress to a serious infection in a matter of days.