Updated: Jun 16
Charcot neuropathy, also known as Charcot arthropathy or Charcot foot and ankle, a serious complication that can affect persons with peripheral neuropathy, or loss of sensation, in the foot and ankle. Patients may experience fractures and dislocations of bones and joints with minimal or no known trauma. Initially, there may be swelling, redness and increased warmth of the foot and ankle. Later, when fractures and dislocations occur, there may be severe deformities of the foot, ankle, and hindfoot, including collapse of the ankle/hindfoot and midfoot arch, often called rocker bottom foot. This can lead to severe instability of the ankle/hindfoot and midfoot.
The TayCo Acute External Ankle Brace exists to provide stability without limiting function to patients recovering from acute ankle injuries. It fits over the user’s shoe or boot, providing comfort and protection against soft tissue damage. The brace fully restricts inversion and eversion of the ankle with options for immobilization, range of motion, or free motion for plantarflexion and dorsiflexion
TayCo External Ankle Brace is very effective for mild to moderate Charcot diagnoses. The Acute TayCo Brace will work for most patients with mild foot deformity. Moderate deformities may require the Custom TayCo from either measurements or a cast. However for a severe deformity, a custom orthosis made by a certified orthotist is recommended.
Dr. DeHeer’s Treatment Protocol
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According to the Modified Eichenholtz Classification for Charcot Neuroarthropathy Stages 0, I, and II, the preferred treatment consists of decreased activity (non-weight bearing, preferably) and off-loading via total contact casting or cast brace until collation of deformity occurs (possibly up to 12 months).
This may not be practical for extended time periods and a TayCo External Ankle Brace, combined with a foot orthotic and diabetic shoe, can be an alternative for these stages.
Stage III deformities without severe structural changes can be treated long-term with a TayCo External Ankle Brace combined with diabetic foot orthosis and diabetic shoe.
If injury is more midfoot, Dr. DeHeer typically prescribes the Range of Motion (ROM) TayCo Brace, selecting either a Custom or Acute brace based on severity of deformities. If the deformities are extreme, a cast of the ankle may be required. If the injury is more hindfoot, Dr. DeHeer will immobilize the ankle in a Fixed TayCo Brace.
The Tayco External Ankle Brace provides an excellent ankle foot orthosis (AFO) option for patients requiring ankle and foot stabilization or immobilization that attaches to a shoe, instead of squeezing into a shoe. Many AFOs are challenging to fit into the limited space within a shoe. By attaching to the shoe externally, the TayCo Brace reduces soft tissue complications and is an effective, user-friendly device. Additionally, the TayCo Brace allows for the use of a custom or accommodative orthosis/orthotic.
With the TayCo External Ankle Brace, patients experience earlier return to function, better compliance, and better satisfaction relative to competitive products. Patient outcomes also improved, mainly due to compliance.
The TayCo External Ankle Brace is also a good non-surgical option, or a conservative option before treatment.