Charcot Foot disease is a common condition in diabetics when patients with diabetic neuropathy develop swelling and redness of their foot. When a Charcot Foot develops, the bone inside the foot and ankle begin to break down and fragment. Often the bones disintegrate leaving the foot in a “rocker bottom” shape with is prone to ulcers and infection. In the ankle, the foot may become disconnected from the main part of the leg making it difficult or impossible to stand.
These foot problems are significant, and the CDC estimates that 60% of amputations in the United States are related to diabetes (about 70,000 per year). The International Diabetes Foundation estimates that 85% of these amputations are preventable. This is why it is important to see a physician who specializes in Charcot foot conditions as soon as possible if symptoms occur.
Charcot Foot Diagnosis
Charcot Foot disease is a complicated problem that is still poorly understood by most physicians. Symptoms are redness and swelling and this can easily be confused with cellulitis and infection. It is important to differentiate because early diagnosis and treatment of Charcot Foot can prevent the progression of the disease to infection and amputation.
Charcot Foot disease should be considered in patients with diabetes and/or neuropathy and develop:
- Redness and swelling of the foot with or without injury
- Deformity of the foot including loss of the arch or rolling in or out of the ankle
- You may have an early Charcot Foot even if your X-Rays do not show anything (ie. you are told you don’t have a fracture)
- Any open wound on the foot needs prompt medical attention
Dr. Sammarco’s Charcot Foot Experience
Dr. Sammarco’s practice has included care for complex diabetic foot and ankle conditions for over 20 years. Over this time, Dr. Sammarco has distinguished himself as a national and international expert on the Charcot foot and ankle. He speaks to orthopedic surgeons regularly at national and international meetings as professor and instructor for the techniques developed here in Cincinnati at his practice. His innovative research has helped him develop techniques and patent medical devices that are now used throughout the world for treatment of Charcot foot and ankle disease.
Dr. Sammarco is the inventor of “Beaming” or “Axial Screw” techniques used for most Charcot Foot surgery. He invented and patented the AXXIS Midfoot Fusion System which is used throughout the world for treatment of Charcot Foot Disease. He has treated thousands of diabetic patients with Charcot Foot disease with excellent results.
Schedule an introductory consultation with Dr. Sammarco to learn what treatment options will be best to help you overcome your injury or chronic condition. It is our goal to help you return to the sports and activities you love as soon as possible.Book an Appointment
Dr. Sammarco’s Charcot Foot Publications:
Sammarco, VJ; Post Market Surveillance of the Axis Fusion Bolt System. Implant Survival and Fusion Rates with One Year Minimum Follow-Up. Extremity Medical 2020
Sammarco, VJ; Lamm, B; Mahar, A; Biomechanical Test Data of the AXIS Beaming System for Charcot Foot Reconstruction: Improved Strength, Fatigue Resistance and Compression Using a Novel Implant. Extremity Medical 2020
Sammarco, VJ, Sammarco, GJ; “Axial Screw Technique for Midfoot Arthrodesis in Charcot Foot Deformity.” In Operative Techniques in Foot and Ankle Surgery- 2nd Edition, Easley, M; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Chapter 46, 2017.
Sammarco, VJ “Treatment of Charcot Midfoot Deformity by Arthrodesis Using Long Axial Screws”, in The Surgical Management of the Diabetic Foot and Ankle, Herscovisci, D; Springer, Switzerland 2016 pp.133-142.
Sammarco, VJ; “Reconstruction of Charcot Midfoot Deformity with Realignment and Arthrodesis” in Advanced Reconstruction: Foot and Ankle 2, ED Alexander IH, Bluman EM, and Greisberg, JK. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Rosemont, IL 2015
Sammarco, VJ; “The Axial Screw Technique for Charcot Midfoot Fusion”, Chapter 13 in Minimally Invasive Surgery of the Foot and Ankle, Bluman, E; Lippincott, William and Wilkins, 2015
Pinzur, M, Sammarco, VJ, Wukich, D. “The Charcot Foot: A Surgical Algorithm” In Instructional Courses Lectures, Volume 61 pages 423-440, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2012 (Video Technique by VJS)
Herscovici, D; Sammarco, GJ; Sammarco, VJ; Scaduto, J; “Pantalar Arthrodesis for Post-Traumatic Arthritis and Diabetic Neuroarthopathy of the Ankle and Hindfoot” Foot Ankle Int. 2011 Jun;32(6):581-8
Sammarco, VJ, Sammarco, GJ; “Axial Screw Technique for Midfoot Arthrodesis in Charcot Foot Deformity.” In Operative Techniques in Foot and Ankle Surgery, Mark Easley, SW; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, pp.322-8, 2011.
Sammarco, VJ, Sammarco, GJ; “Axial Screw Technique for Midfoot Arthrodesis in Charcot Foot Deformity.” In Operative Techniques in Orthopaedic Surgery, Ed Wiesel, SW; Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, pp.3802-8, 2011.
Sammarco, VJ, Sammarco, G.J., Walker, Earl W., Guiao, Ronald P. “Surgical Technique for Midtarsal Arthrodesis in the Treatment of Charcot Midfoot Arthropathy” The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 2010 March; (92): 1-19
Sammarco, VJ, Sammarco, G.J., “Surgical Technique for Midtarsal Arthrodesis in the Treatment of Charcot Midfoot Arthropathy” Video Joint Production of the AAOS and JBJS Published February 2010
Sammarco, VJ; “Superconstructs in the Repair of Charcot Midfoot Dislocations.” In Foot and Ankle Clinics. 2009 September; (Volume 14, Issue 3: 393-407)
Sammarco, VJ, Sammarco, G.J., Walker, Earl W., Guiao, Ronald P. “Midtarsal Arthrodesis in the Treatment of Charcot Midfoot Arthropathy” The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 2009; 91:80-91.