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Charcot Joint Disease – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Reconstruction

Written by Dr.Mary
IN THIS ARTICLE:

What is a Charcot Joint?

This is a progressive, chronic as well as deteriorating disease of one or even more joints, and is categorized by unsteadiness of the joint, swelling, hemorrhage, heat as well as atrophic and hypertropic fluctuations of the bone. It is as well referred to as neurogenic arthropathy.


This condition is caused by a neurologic disorder, leprosy, diabetic neuropathy, congenital absence or the depression of the sensation of pain. In many cases, the recognition early of this disease and prophylactic defense of the joint can prevent any additional damage. Due to slow rates of healing, surgical rebuilding is not generally effective.

Charcot Joint Symptoms

Joints with no nerve supply are especially affected. The bone is distorted and fractures, the cartilage degenerates, and then this same joint will become useless. This can take from several months or several years. Charcot’s joint generally affects knees, while further joints that are weight bearing joints can be affected as well.

The joint which is affected is swollen massively, unstable as well as distorted. In the leg beneath the joint which is affected there is normally nerve connection loss and the medical professionals can discover a flaw in pain as well as perception of position.

With diabetics, this disease may create major as well as severe foot malformations except when it is identified and treated early during the first stages. Charcot’s joint normally develops in diabetics who have often been dealing with the diabetes for quite some time. If an individual does maintain good management of their disease by diet, medication as well as monitoring, they are able to reduce any risks for developing Charcot joint and other complications of diabetes.

Charcot Joint Causes

Diabetes as well as peripheral neuropathy is the main risk factors for Charcot foot. Elevated levels of sugar in the blood, the trademark of diabetes, can activate neuropathy, that then can cause Charcot foot. Exactly how this process occurs in not known.

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The following medical problems are some other possible causes of Charcot joint. These are likely to be some other possible causes:

  • Diabetes
  • Syphilis
  • Leprosy
  • Alcoholic neuropathy
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Renal dialysis

Charcot foot transpires at the exact similar rate in both women and men and also occurs in both feet in almost 20% of the cases.

From the facts developed by the ADA, 60 to 70% of individuals who are diagnosed as diabetics triggers damage to the peripheral nerve and that can ultimately cause Charcot foot and about .5% of these individuals develop the disorder. In the majority of these cases, the beginning happens later than 50 years of age and after the individuals have had diabetes for at least 20 years.

Complications of Charcot joint consist of:

  • Fractures
  • Joint failure
  • Ulceration of the skin
  • Joint replacement
  • Disability
  • Gangrene

Charcot Joint Treatment

First the underlying disease must be identified and can be treated efficiently if it is syphilis or to some extent, diabetes. But, the nerves will never regenerate after the disease treatment and the joint problems can continue to worsen. The joints can be protected by minimizing weight with a cane or with crutches. Drugs are of little benefit. Surgery is only attempted in rare cases and with only reasonably success.

Treatment of Charcot’s joint includes:

  • Total rest of affected joint
  • Treatment of any underlying disease
  • Surgery
  • Amputation
  • Protective splints
  • Crutches or walker
  • Corticosteroids
  • Joint replacement

Charcot Joint Pictures

Charcot Joint Disease Charcot Joint Disease Charcot Joint Disease

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