The “broken windows” theory is based on the theoretical premise that a building with a broken window left unrepaired will eventually have all its windows broken. In his 2000 debut—The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference—renowned author and journalist Malcolm Gladwell uses this academic theory to help explain how “zero tolerance” efforts may have contributed to the decline of violent crime in New York City. We can use this widely-debated theory in another way—to discuss both causes and prevention measures for diabetic foot collapse.

When thinking of “little things adding up to make a big difference,” Charcot foot often is the result not of a single traumatic event, but rather a series of smaller issues that compile over time. This condition develops on account of two of the associated risks with diabetes – neuropathy and poor circulation. The poor circulation deprives the bones in the feet of the nourishment they need, so they weaken. Neuropathy (nerve damage) can lead to numbness and an inability to tell when injury has happened.

When an individual is unaware of a bone breaking, he or she will likely continue to perform his or her usual activities. Even if these are simply walking around or standing only periodically, the feet actually absorb a lot of pressure. This can lead to further damage, which then becomes an ongoing cycle until an affected foot becomes quite deformed.

As we look at preventing Charcot foot, little things can again add up to make a big difference, but in a positive way this time.

The best two practices for diabetic foot care are essentially prevention and inspection. Preventative measures begin with making sure that you always wear shoes to protect your feet, even when you are in your home. In addition to avoiding injury, you need to inspect your feet on a daily basis. Run your fingers gently over them and look for swelling, redness, or anything unusual.

Don’t let your feet get to the point where diabetic foot collapse becomes an issue. Here at Foot Specialists of Long Island, we will help you create a plan for preventing Charcot foot and other issues that can become critical for patients who have diabetes. There is no reason to hesitate, so contact our Massapequa, NY office by calling (516) 804-9038 today. You can also schedule your appointment online with our Long Island podiatrist.

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