What Is Charcot Foot?

Hint: Charcot Foot Can Be A Devastating Condition Caused By Missouri Nursing Home Neglect

Charcot foot is the condition that you may never have heard of until it is too late.  This is a serious, debilitating, and usually painful condition, with severe cases actually resulting in amputation.  Residents of nursing homes that do not receive the proper care, treatment, and attention by nursing home staff may develop this catastrophic condition.  In fact, whenever a resident of a Missouri nursing home receives the diagnosis of Charcot foot, he or she should contact our St. Louis nursing home neglect lawyer to learn what his or her rights are under Missouri law.  This is because a resident that walks into a nursing home without Charcot foot should not limp out of the nursing home because of it.

What is Charcot Foot?

Charcot foot is a very serious condition of the foot which is characterized by the weakening of bones in the foot.  This usually occurs to individuals who have had significant nerve damage to the foot.  As a result of the nerve damage, the bones weaken and can more easily be fractured.  This also results in the foot becoming deformed and abnormal.  If the condition is allowed to continue uncorrected, it can result in irreparable damage and even amputation of the foot.  Residents who have diabetes, circulation issues, or clotting disorders are most likely to be at risk of developing Charcot foot, as well are individuals who have tightened calf or achilles heels.

Causes: How Can a Missouri Nursing Home Give a Resident Charcot Foot?

Broken LegCharcot foot can absolutely be caused by Missouri nursing home neglect.  There are several different ways that this unwanted gift could be bestowed by a nursing home.

1) Mismanagement of Diabetes: The main risk factor is diabetes.  Residents with diabetes could get peripheral neuropathy in their foot, which is nerve damage due to complications from diabetes.  This can be managed with proper care and treatment.  However, if a resident’s diabetes is not properly managed, it could exacerbate or worsen the nerve damage in the foot which could increase the risk—or increase the severity—of Charcot foot.  Mistakes in managing a resident’s diabetes could be as simple as taking blood tests and administering proper doses of medication or insulin.

2) Failing to Diagnose or Identify: Initially, the symptoms of Charcot foot are common ailments of the foot.  These ailments include redness in the foot, swelling around the foot, pain or soreness in the foot, and that the foot is warm to touch.  However, when a resident’s foot does not respond to treatment such as ice, compression, or pain relief/swelling reducing medications, a nursing home cannot just ignore these symptoms.  That is when these generalized symptoms indicate a larger issue like Charcot foot.  Thus, failing to diagnose or at least identify a more serious problem with a resident’s foot at the early stages could be Missouri nursing home neglect.

3) Failing to Refer a Resident to a Specialist: Whether or not Charcot foot is identified or diagnosed by nursing home staff, where a resident is having these unexplained problems with his or her foot the standard of care would be to refer the resident to a specialist or even to a hospital.  This is because, generally, nursing homes are not in the business of diagnosing and treating conditions like Charcot foot..  This is usually achieved through outside consulting.  Therefore, when a resident has a condition that could possibly be Charcot foot, a resident needs to be referred for proper care and treatment.  The longer that a nursing home neglects referring a resident to a specialist, the longer a resident’s foot will literally deteriorate and make amputation more likely.

4) Improper Treatment Attempts or Failure to Upkeep Basic Hygiene: A nursing home may attempt to treat Charcot foot without intervention from a specialist.  That decision alone may condemn a resident to worse personal injury.  This is a complicated condition which can quickly spiral out of control, especially when bones in the foot begin to fracture.  Proper treatment could be immobilization of the foot, custom shoes, braces, physical therapy, and surgical intervention.  A nursing home does not normally staff healthcare providers who are able to diagnose  Charcot foot, especially not to the extent of fitting braces or performing surgery.  But they most certainly should be in a position to get a resident demonstrating the signs of Charcot foot the medical attention they require. 

Did a Loved One Develop Charcot Foot in a Missouri Nursing Home?  Ask Our St. Louis Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer to Take a Look for Free!

Although Charcot foot can naturally develop in even ideal circumstances or with proper care and treatment from nursing home staff, it really should never progress to the point of amputations.  Some cases of even basic Charcot foot could have been avoided or mitigated well before the debilitating and painful conditions emerge, including fractures.  Anytime a resident of a Missouri nursing home develops Charcot foot, call our St. Louis nursing home neglect lawyer to perform a FREE evaluation to determine whether a resident’s rights have been violated.  Call the Terry Law Firm by dialing (314) 334-1441 to learn how we can help you today.