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The only way to stop the progression of Charcot foot (also called diabetic foot) is to stay off the foot long enough for it to heal. Your healthcare provider will prescribe treatment to help healing.
While fractures are healing, it is crucial that you keep your weight off your foot. This is called non-weight-bearing. Your healthcare provider may ask you not to walk at all. Or, he or she may prescribe a special device such as crutches. Remember: you often don’t feel pain with Charcot foot. So even if you feel fine, stay off your foot until your provider says it’s OK.
Special devices may help you keep weight off your foot. That way, your bones can heal smoothly. A cast lets you walk while keeping weight off your foot. A wheelchair, crutches, or brace may be prescribed alone or with a cast. A Charcot restraint orthotic walker (CROW) may be prescribed to help you move while protecting your foot. Other devices may be prescribed to help you keep your foot raised while at home. An elastic bandage wrap or special stocking may also be suggested. This compresses your foot to reduce swelling and aid healing.
Once your foot has healed, you may be fitted for custom shoes or inserts (orthoses). Custom footwear is specially made to fit the shape of your foot. This can help prevent ulcers caused by the rubbing from store-bought shoes. If custom footwear doesn't stop ulcers from forming, surgery may be needed to correct the deformity causing the ulcers.
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