Source: The Ultimate Home Diabetes Reference, American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes
Sometimes neuropathy can trigger a cascade of diabetes related complications. For example, many people who have had diabetes for a long time develop a condition, known as Charcot’s foot (Charcot’s joint). This disorder usually affects weight-bearing joints, such as the ankles. It may start with a loss of feeling and thinning of bones in the feet. This can lead to a painless fracture. Because the injury doesn’t cause pain, it can go unnoticed and untreated. You may continue walking on the fracture, making matters worse. Muscle shrinking (atrophy) and joint damage can occur and add to the damage, which can become severe enough to deform the foot. The key to treating Charcot’s foot is early nonweightbearing. This involves keeping weight off the joint and wearing special footwear. If you notice any swelling in a joint, especially in your ankle or foot, see your doctor right away.