Foot casts may limit harm caused by neuroarthropathy

Foot casts may limit harm caused by neuroarthropathy
Foot casts may limit harm caused by neuroarthropathy

Serial casting, which typically uses plaster or fiberglass casts to correct pediatric deformities while the bones are more pliable, could be used to effectively treat Charcot neuroarthropathy, a case study out of Israel has found.

Charcot neuroarthropathy, or Charcot foot, can occur in patients with peripheral neuropathy who don't notice the pain of their bones or joints breaking down under their body weight, and continue to walk and stand on the deformity. As a result, patients with Charcot foot can develop ulcerations and potentially life-threatening infections.

Current treatments of Charcot foot include immobilization, radiotherapy, pharmacologic treatments and reconstructive surgical interventions. Doctors at the Shaarei Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem decided to use serial casting to treat a 63-year-old male patient with Charcot foot due to the potential bone pliability. 

The patient had undergone foot reconstruction surgery six months before but saw no change in the shape of his foot.

After four months of serial casting to reform the shape and position of his foot, the patient regained full ambulation with a plantigrade foot and no wounds. Since the original case study, seven other patients have been successfully treated, according to investigators.

Results of the case study appeared in the May issue of Wounds