stephabbou

Q:

I have been told I have charcot foot, and I'm trying to find good information on this situation. My surgeon wants to fuse my ankle, but I think there is a better option. Any suggestions? Any good websites I can visit? Where do I go for help in this situation?

Dr. David Erani

A:

Even though it was first described in 1868, there is still a lot that is not understood about Charcot foot. Also known as neuropathic joint disease, it always occurs in the setting of neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is the most common cause. It often causes fractures and joint dislocations resulting in deformities. It is believed to be caused by abnormal bone metabolism in the affected area. Loss of protective sensation may also play a role. Stress fractures typically cause pain which would be a sign to limit physical activity. Without pain, physical activity and weight-bearing will continue and cause stress fractures to progress. In the acute phase, Charcot foot can appear similar to an infected foot with signs of inflammation such as redness, warmth, and swelling. Once infection is ruled out, treatment focuses on immobilization of the foot. Over time, the signs of inflammation resolve. A typical deformity is referred to as “rocker-bottom foot” with collapse of the arch. Deformities may also occur in other parts of the foot and ankle. Surgery can be helpful to correct deformities with could otherwise lead to skin ulcerations. Further information can be found on the website of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons http://www.foothealthfacts.org/footankleinfo/charcot-foot.htm and that of the organization Diabetes UK http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Introduction-to-diabetes/Other_associated_conditions/Musculoskeletal_Conditions/Charcot_joint/

May 15, 2013 at 12:47 am

3 replies

Big Baby 831
Big Baby 831 2014-08-23 23:51:17 -0500 Report

My brother had charcot-marie-tooth disease and I said had because he passed away a year ago June from this terrible disease. Cynthiashellie30 the best advice I can give you is to find a great orthopedic doctor who specializes in diabetic foot conditions. The one we found was excellent and he helped my brother tremendously with walking casts while the abscesses healed and such. But his favorite line in regards to my brother losing his foot was "we will win a lot of battles but eventually we will lose the war." I know that may not be comforting but it is reality. I can tell you that the most important thing is to check that foot or both several times a day for any abscesses, discoloration etc. as this is what killed my brother. An unknown abscess on the ankle of his foot, as his foot was turned and he was walking on the ankle, poisoned his blood stream and made him septic and he went into cardiac arrest. So please, please, please check those feet a couple times daily!!! God Bless you

Schmitty
Schmitty 2013-08-30 10:17:55 -0500 Report

Had been suffering with Neuropathy in my right foot…under the toes … the burning was very irritating… but my gd sells cosmetics and different lotions…bought a foot cream from her when she was here for a visit from Iowa…and since using it…the neuropathy is gone… hallelujah! Did not want to have to take meds…as I am on so many meds for my heart, blood pressure, etc.