Charcot foot is the deteriation of the foot’s structural integrity as a result of injuries incured following nerve damage. The nerve damage may cause minor pain, followed by the loss of sensation and an increased risk of injury to the feet. When the foot is repeatedly injured, the weight-bearing joints weaken. Charcot foot is a serious condition that can lead to severe deformity, disability, and even amputation.
If you can’t get your regular shoes on, or if you have any changes in foot shape, stay off that foot, and report it to your doctor immediately. If you continue to walk on a foot with Charcot’s joint, you will make it worse and the foot’s structure may breakdown fairly quickly.
Charcot foot most often results from nerve damage in the foot or ankle caused by diabetes. It may develop as a result of neuropathy, which decreases sensation and the ability to feel temperature, pain and trauma. Because of diminished sensations, the patient may continue to walk, making the injury worse. In addition, neuropathic patients with a tight Achilles tendon have a tendency to develop Charcot foot.
The symptoms of Charcot foot may include:
A skin sore or infection may be present. Later, the foot becomes unstable and deformed.
Changes in Arch of Foot
Some conditions may cause an arch to collapse into a fallen arch or tighten into a high arch.
Early detection and treatment of the condition can prevent deformity and loss of function as well as possible amputation. One way to treat Charcot’s foot is to immobilize the foot in a cast or special boot, and resting so it can heal. Sometimes surgery may be needed to realign the joints within the foot.
Charcot Foot Management and Treatment
If diagnosed early our management and treatment of Charcot foot can prevent more damage and avoid deformity and other complications.
CROW (Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker)
The Charcot Restraint Orthotic Walker, or CROW, is a rigid boot designed to accommodate and support a foot with Charcot neuroarthropathy.