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Charcot Reconstruction

When a complication of your diabetes is Charcot foot, reconstructive surgery could be needed to give you back your mobility. The team of podiatry experts at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio in Mentor, Chardon, Westlake, Lakewood and Garfield Heights, Ohio, has extensive experience in a variety of methods for Charcot reconstruction. For a consultation and a treatment plan for your Charcot foot, call or book an appointment online today.

Charcot Reconstruction Q & A

What is Charcot foot?

Charcot foot, or Charcot arthropathy, is a progressive, chronic complication of long-term nerve damage, or neuropathy. Neuropathy and resulting inflammation cause a weakening of the bones, which leads to fractures. Loss of sensation, a result of nerve damage, means that fractures go undetected.

Untreated fractures and continuing to walk around on those fractures adds incredible pressure to all the structures of the foot, including, muscles, ligaments, tendons, joints, and bones. As the conditions continue to worsen the joints collapse, the entire foot bottoms out, and the foot eventually becomes deformed.

The most common underlying cause of this condition is diabetic neuropathy, which is a long-term complication of diabetes. Charcot foot creates significant potential for long-term disability and high risk for amputation.

How is Charcot foot diagnosed?

This condition is made more serious and complicated because it is often not diagnosed until the damage is significant.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain and soreness
  • Uneven warmth between feet
  • Redness
  • Swelling


Diagnosis is made after a health history, physical exam, diagnostic studies, and lab work. Early detection is key to avoiding progressive stages of this disease.

What treatments are available for Charcot foot?

Initial treatment for Charcot foot is immobilization, orthotics and braces, and activity modification. If Charcot foot is advanced or increases in severity, surgery will be needed to reconstruct the foot.

The Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio use a variety of methods for Charcot reconstruction. These procedures include:

  • Osteotomy: a method of deformity correction that involves cutting the bone
  • External fixation: used post-osteotomy to secure bone placement during the healing process
  • Ilizarov surgery: a specialized external fixator frame used to secure bone placement
  • Limb salvage: a surgical procedure where damaged bones and tissues are repaired in order to avoid amputation
  • Arthrodesis: a procedure that fuses joints together for added stability


In most extreme cases, amputation will be needed to treat Charot foot. The team at Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio is committed to early detection and effective treatment of this debilitating condition.

For a consultation regarding your Charcot foot, call or book an appointment online with Foot & Ankle Specialists of Ohio today.