Charcot Symptoms (a Classification)

Often a person finds out they have Charcot Foot before they even know what the symptoms are. Unfortunately, in Bonnie’s case, she threw the covers back one morning and discovered blood all over the bed. A bone had gone through the bottom of her left foot. It was too late for her medical professionals to save her foot from amputation even though she had continually complained about her feet hurting her.
Even though 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 toes and you’ve had an x-ray. You may have been told you had arthritis. You most likely have had a trauma to the foot. If you have Neuropathy, you have a loss of sensation. Ask your doctor about Charcot.

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 Charcot knowledgeable professional working with you will help stop further joint destruction.

If you have been told you have neuropathy. What type? Sensory-motor neuropathy? This is a loss of protective sensation, muscle weakness and also in the ankle. Autonomic neuropathy? Loss of vasomotor control, hyperemia and more.

Trauma can be another factor. They believe my being thrown from a horse when I was 10 led to my Charcot. Once I became a diabetic it became worse. Surgery and an incredible caring Surgeon saved my foot from amputation though it was nearly too late.

Early immobilization and staying off your feet are critical in the initial treatment of Charcot’s osteoathropathy. Take care of your feet. They are your foundation.

Please donate to help inform the public about the damage this disease causes. Funding can be sent to:
Charcot Awareness Education Foundation
P. O. Box 3902
Silverdale, WA 98383-3902
We are an approved IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation and approved
Washington State Charities Program

Message by the Founder Annita Shaw

Brought toby Charcot Awareness Education Foundation