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Is Charcot Foot The Same As Charcot Marie Tooth?

Although the name could be nearly the same and act as confusion charcot foot and Charcot Marie tooth disease are entirely different disorders. Charcot’s foot is a bony deformation of the foot occurring due to sensory and autonomic neuropathies whereas charcot marie tooth disease is a hereditary sensorimotor neuropathy.

Charcot foot also known as Charcot arthropathy or Charcot joint is a progressive musculoskeletal disorder found in every disease capable of causing sensory or autonomic neuropathy. The most common cause of charcot foot is diabetes mellitus because it can cause both sensory and autonomic neuropathy and also it is a modern epidemic of the 21st century. Other Charcot’s of Charcot’s foot include infectious diseases like syphilis, leprosy, etc. and non-infectious diseases like alcoholism, spinal cord injury, syringomyelia, meningomyelocele, etc. are few to name.[1]

Is Charcot Foot The Same As Charcot Marie Tooth?

The symptoms of Charcot’s foot include the destruction of bone and soft tissues overlying it at weight-bearing joints in a progressive manner and cause deformation of the foot due to joint dislocations, fractures, deformities, etc. Though the exact cause of Charcot’s foot is unknown a few combinations of theories are thought to cause it.

Due to the sensory neuropathy acquired by the disease, the trauma incurred on the affected parts is unperceived and it goes on increasing due to repeated and un-healing nature. Loss of trophic factors from the skin is also responsible for it. Due to autonomic neuropathy, there is increased blood supply towards the affected area and it leads to absorption of bone, osteopenia and other bony features. A combination of these two theories is thought to be the cause responsible for Charcot’s foot.

Charcot Marie tooth disease is an inherited disorder with autosomal dominant inheritance as its major pattern. It involves sensory and motor nerves at their periphery due to demyelination disease caused by a defective gene synthesizing the myelin. Sometimes it also undergoes axonal degeneration by Wallerian degeneration followed by demyelination as seen in type 2 of the disease.[2]

It causes muscle wasting, bony deformities due to persistent muscle spasm, etc. Deep tendon reflexes are severely diminished or even absent due to sensory as well as motor component involvement. Trophic ulcers, skin breakdown, burn due to non-sensation, non-healing lesions, etc. can be found on the skin. It is a slowly progressing neuropathic disease which can progress till the 6th decade after its appearance is usually the first decade of life.

Difference Between Charcot Foot And CMT Disease

Charcot foot is a very distinct and different disorder from Charcot Marie tooth disease. Charcot foot is an acquired disorder caused due to various local or systemic conditions causing neuropathies whereas CMT disease is a hereditary disorder inherited from the previous generations. The differences include sparing of the motor component in the former whereas the involvement of motor component is seen in the latter. CMT disease does not cause autonomic neuropathy whereas it is an important component seen in Charcot’s foot. Although both diseases can present as bony deformations, non-healing ulcersCharcot’setc. but Charcot’s foot appears as much more serious then Charcot Marie tooth disease. Also, sensory involvement is a common feature between the two disorders.


These both diseases are an entirely different type of disorders and they differ on nearly all aspects except sensory involvement and overlap of a few of the symptoms. The names of these diseases act as confuser because of two different scientists named as Charcot discovering the different disorders and have been named on them.

Charcot’s foot is an acquired disease most commonly associated with diabetes mellitus whereas Charcot Marie tooth disease is linked with mutations of different genes with an autosomal dominant type of inheritance pattern. Charcot’s foot is a preventable and partially curable disease with the limitation of the underlying cause whereas CMT disease is incurable. Medical treatment for the systemic diseases causing, the foot is availableCharcot’sbut the same is not with the case of Charcot Marie tooth disease.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 6, 2020

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