Also known as Charcot neuroarthropathy. It is a acquired disorder that affects patients with any neurological disorder where there is profound loss of sensation to the feet and legs. Most commonly this affects certain patients with diabetes that suffer sudden extensive fracturing and shifting of bones. The first clue of Charcot process is sudden swelling with change in foot appearance. There can be some pain but this is usually muted due to the generalized absence of protective sensation from the overlying neuropathy.
Treatments for this complex disorder varies but at Ankle & Foot Clinics, NW, our patients are comfortable knowing that our doctors stay abreast to the latest treatments.
Conservative treatment for Charcot is the cornerstone of treatment for this condition especially for feet with low ulcer risk. In some situations a custom walking boot (called a CROW walker) is used to protect the deformity and help take stress off the plantar foot. There are other situation where the fracture damage is severe which requires time for the bones fragments to consolidate.
The most important aspect in treating Charcot disease is having a durable foot alignment that reduces the risk of skin ulceration.
When ulcers develop bone infection can develop which can threaten the the limb. If there is limb threatening deformity or infection salvage surgery is often necessary.
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