Immobilization. Because the foot and ankle are so fragile during the early stage of Charcot, they must be protected so the weakened bones can repair themselves. Complete nonweightbearing is necessary to keep the foot from further collapsing. The patient will not be able to walk on the affected foot until the surgeon determines it is safe to do so. During this period, the patient may be fitted with a cast, removable boot or brace
and may be required to use crutches or a wheelchair. It may take the bones several months to heal
, although it can take considerably longer in some patients.
Custom shoes and bracing. Shoes with special inserts may be needed after the bones have healed to enable the patient to return to daily activities—as well as help prevent
recurrence of Charcot foot, development of ulcers and possibly amputation. In cases with significant deformity, bracing is also required.
Activity modification. A modification in activity level may be needed to avoid repetitive trauma to both feet. A patient with Charcot in one foot is more likely to develop it in the other foot, so measures must be taken to protect both feet.