What are the stages of Charcot foot?

Charcot’s foot’ is a rare but somewhat serious complication of diabetes that can affect the feet and ankles. It is a type of neuropathic arthropathy, which means it is a condition that causes damage to the joints due to nerve damage.

Clinical it is helpful to be able to stage the Charcot Foot as this can guide treatment and facilitate communication:

Stage 0:
Development of acute inflammation and edema – This stage is characterized by the initial onset of the condition. The foot may be warm, red, and swollen, and the patient may experience pain or discomfort. However, fractures or dislocations may not be apparent on X-rays.

Stage 1:
Coalescence or fragmentation – In this stage, the bones and joints of the foot begin to break down and collapse. The foot may become more deformed, and X-rays may reveal evidence of bone fragmentation or dislocation.

Stage 2:
Consolidation or reconstruction – During this stage, the foot attempts to repair the damage caused in the previous stage. New bone formation may occur, leading to the development of bony prominences and deformities. However, the foot remains unstable and susceptible to further damage.

Stage 3:
Reconstruction or remodelling – In this stage, the foot undergoes further remodelling and attempts to stabilize. However, the deformities and structural changes persist, and the foot may have a rocker-bottom appearance. There is a higher risk of foot ulcers and complications.

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