Diabetes & Charcot Foot or Neuropathic Arthropathy


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Diabetes is the most frequent cause of neuropathic arthropathy as it causes a reduction in the sensation of the foot (and other extremities). Reduced sensation in the feet of diabetics is caused by high blood sugar levels damaging nerve cells. This reduced sensation means that you will not notice if you injure your feet and this can mean that lots of repeated small injuries can add up on a single joint so that the inflammation caused by the numerous injuries builds up and makes the joint even more susceptible to fewer injury by causing weakness. In addition, de-sensitized joints will often receive an enhance blood supply (due to a poor feedback system to reduce excess blood supply) and this encourages bone destruction. Neuropathic arthropathy occurs most frequently on weight bearing joints due to the increased incidence of trauma to these areas. If you are diabetic it is particularly important that you regularly check your feet and ensure that you seek treatment for any injuries that you find. You should discuss this with your GP if you have any concerns.  


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