November Group Meeting

November meeting and Christmas Raffle

Mike welcomed both members and Nina Petrova, our guest speaker, to our November meeting.

The Group has donated £5,000 to the project that Nina is working on.  The project is called ‘Can new ceramic materials combat Charcot foot’.  Nina’s project is being undertaken at Kings College London.  

Dr Edmunds first started a diabetic related foot clinic at Kings College in 1981 with the support of Diabetes UK.  The clinic has many specialists that deal with different aspects of foot care within one area of the hospital.  This set up proved extremely successful and has seen a significant reduction in Diabetic foot amputations.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) adopted Dr Edmonds model as one of best practice.  Dr Edmunds won a lifetime achievement award for his work in 2013. 

What is Charcot Foot?

Charcot Foot was first identified by a french doctor called Monsieur Jean-Martin Charcot. The condition affects those people who suffer nerve damage in the feet.  Charcot foot is a break or dislocation of the bones in the feet.  It occurs because the bones are usually weaker in people, who have diabetes.  A person with Charcot foot will have redness and swelling in the foot and will have some bone fragility which will lead to foot deformity.  

If you have nerve damage in your feet you may not feel any pain from the damage and may continue to walk on your foot without realising there is a problem.  Charcot foot can cause changes in the shape of the foot, which can happen very rapidly. Once your foot has changed shape it will not return to normal.  Changes to the shape of the foot may lead to a severe deformity and encourage foot ulcers, which in turn could lead to an amputation.

The  healing process may take along time and will incorporate the wearing of a plaster cast, or a walking brace.  The patient will also have to keep their weight off of the damaged foot for a long period of time.

The Study

Nina is investigating the process of the bones breaking down and is trying to see if bioceramics can be used to stop the progress of the patients feet becoming deformed.    Bioceramics are ceramic materials that have been especially developed for use in medical and dental implants.  They are most commonly used to replace hard tissue in the body like bone and teeth. It has already been noted that the use of bioceramics can help in the treatment of fractures.  It is hoped the use of bioceramics will significantly reduce the impact of damage to the feet.  Nina advised the audience Charcot Foot is a rare condition.

Christmas Raffle and 100 Club draw

The Christmas raffle was held after Nina’s presentation.  Prizes included a food hamper, bottles of spirit and wine, a voucher for a turkey and many other prizes.

Our 100 club was drawn; the lucky winner received £50 and the runner up received £25.  Numbers will be reallocated in the New Year at a cost of £12 per number.  Please see Malcolm Jacobs at one of our group meetings if you wish to take part in the 100 club.

The members enjoyed a selection of Christmas fare and a cup of tea or coffee.

The group wishes everyone a Happy Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.