Charcot occurs when individuals with a decrease of sensation, or neuropathy, in the lower extremities experience fractures, tendon and ligament damage. Due to loss of sensation, the damage continues to worsen as the injury is neglected. Patients with the following conditions may experience Charcot:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Spinal Injury
Charcot may manifest in many forms:
- Joint dislocation
- Joint instability
- Loss of sensation in foot
- Misalignment of bones
Patients with Charcot may first notice inflammation, heat and redness at the affected area before any deformity sets in.
Depending on the severity of the condition, patients may be treated with a cast and will be asked to allow the affected area to be non-weight bearing. If a cast will not facilitate proper healing, surgical measures may be ensued. The surgical plan is tailored specifically for each individual patient, as each case is unique.
Individuals with neuropathy should be scheduling regular examinations by a medical specialist, and perform self-evaluations on a daily basis to avoid surgery and amputation.