Archive for October, 2012

Charcot Symptoms

Often a person finds out they have Charcot Foot before they even know what the symptoms are. You may have realized one foot was warmer than the other and that your foot was changing shape, maybe a bulge on the side, or the arch had fallen and the toes were now becoming hammer, or claw toes. You’ve had an x-ray. You may have been told you have arthritis. Looking back in time, you most likely have had a trauma to the foot, such as, a can fell out of the cupboard and hit your foot or, maybe you fell and injured your foot. If you have Neuropathy, you have a loss of sensation. All of these may be indications of Charcot.

Because this is all very gradual, you may not be aware of the changes in your foot or feet. You may realize that you are not as stable when walking, your feet bother you more, but, Oh, well, it just seems like it’s part of a normal aging process.

This joint destruction process has a classification scheme of its order created by Eichenholtz decades ago called the Eichenholtz Classification.

Stage 0 – Clinically, there is joint edema, but radiographs (X-rays) are negative.

Stage 1 – Development stage (acute)

* soft tissue edema (swelling, fluid in cells)
* joint fragmentation
* dislocation

Stage 2 – Coalescent ( merging ) phase

* edema reduction
* bone callus proliferation (growth)
* fracture consolidation

Stage 3 – Reconstruction phase

* osseous ankylosis (bony joint stiffening)
* hypertrophic proliferation (abnormal enlargement of growth)

Charcot Foot (joint or bone) is serious for if this pathological process goes unchecked, it could result in joint deformity, ulceration, maybe infection and loss of function. The worst thing that could happen is amputation. Taking care of the feet and having a knowledgeable professional working with you will help stop further joint destruction.

Unfortunately, it seems, many doctors, podiatrist and surgeons come across with the attitude amputation is no big deal.

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Who Might Have Charcot

August 23, 2012 I posted the explanation of Charcot. This week, I would like to tell you of the diseases that affect Charcot making it worse. Then, follow up with my experiences with Charcot and how My husband and I dealt with this devastating disease. I will add comments and up date information when possible.

There are some 24 diseases that cause Charcot Foot to become worse. The following list of diseases by Ali Nawaz Khan MBBS Riyadh, Saudi Arabia which appeared in an article in emedicine on Feb. 21, 2007.

* Diabetes
* Use of Corticosteriods
* Alcoholism
* Trauma
* Infection
* Amyloidosis
* Prenicious anemia
* Syphilis
* Syringomyelia
* Spina Bifida
* Myelomeningocele
* Leprosy
* Multiple Sclerosis
* Congenital vascular disease
* Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
* Cord compression
* Asymbolia
* Connective disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and sclerodema
* Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
* Raynaud disease
* Adrenal Hypercorticism
* Thalidomide Embryopathy (congenital Arthropathy in offspring of exposed mothers)
* Paraneoplastic sensory neuropathy
* Cauda Equine Lipoma

Since diabetes heads the list, diabetics need to be aware that this article says 15% of the diabetic population has Charcot Foot and a 2004 University of Washington study states that 1/600-700 diabetics with diabetes mellitus neuropathy has Charcot Foot.

Charcot is, apparently, difficult to diagnose and is often miss diagnosed as arthritis(re previous articles on the Poster sections 1, 2, 3). One needs to find a Charcot knowledgeable professional. A podiatrist DPM, or a foot and ankle specialist (surgeon) DPM, FACFAS who is able to diagnose correctly.

Since neuropathy is a loss of sensation in the foot, one is unable to detect painful sensations. A doctor once told me a patient came into her office unable to remove his shoe and couldn’t understand why. When she looked at the bottom of the shoe she found a nail. It had gone through the shoe and well into his foot. It was removed and the shoe taken off to reveal a traumatic situation. Because of Neuropathy much goes undetected that could save the foot and individual from pain.

If you don’t have someone to help you check your feet, place a mirror on the floor that can be used to help you check your feet. Check them daily. Also, avoid going bare foot.

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Charcot Diagnosis Part 3

Courtesy of Valerie Schade DPM,AACFAS

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation

Charcot Diagnosis Part 2

Courtesy of Valerie Schade DPM, AACFAS

Brought to you by Charcot Awareness Education Foundation