Charcot Foot is a form of arthritis that often develops suddenly and without pain.It is most often associated with Diabetes though it can occur with other diseases. Without any warning, the bones in the foot and/or ankle spontaneously fracture and fragment, often causing a severe deformity. This is because of an underlying neuropathy. The arch of the foot often collapses, and pressure areas develop on the bottom of the foot, leading to open sores or ulcers.The foot and ankle can become severely deformed. The viability of the limb is at risk.
The average age of patients developing a Charcot Foot is 40 years. About one-third of patients develop a Charcot Foot in both feet and/or ankles.
Although nonsurgical treatments, such as elevation, casts, and braces, can help alleviate pain and resolve open sores or ulcers, many of these deformities may require surgery to correct the fracture or remove bone fragments. This usually occurs in cases characterized by:
- Chronic deformity with increased plantar pressures and risk of ulcers.
- Chronic deformity with significant instability that cannot be corrected by braces.
- Significant deformity that may include ulcers that do not heal or respond to therapy.