Charcot’s joint, also known as neurogenic arthropathy, is a chronic, progressive and degenerative disease of one or more joints characterized by swelling, joint instability, hemorrhage, heat and atrophic or hypertrophic changes in the bone. This disease can be caused by neurological disorders, diabetic neuropathy, leprosy and reduced or absent pain sensation in the joint. This condition usually affects the knees.
The Ayurvedic treatment of Charcot’s joint is aimed at treating the underlying cause and helping regeneration of the nerves of the affected joint. Medicines like Yograj-Guggulu, Kaishor-Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Tapyadi-Loh, Abhrak-Bhasma and Trivang-Bhasma are used to treat neurological disorders. Diabetic neuropathy is treated using medicines like Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Mamejva (Enicostemma littorale), Gudmar (Gymnema sylvester), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Yashad-Bhasma, Shilajit (Purified bitumen), Vijaysaar (Pterocarpus marsupium), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Chirayta (Swertia chirata) and Karavellaka (Momordica charantia). Leprosy can be treated using medicines like Kaishor-Guggulu, Arogya-Vardhini, Triphala-Guggulu, Sukshma-Triphala, Tapyadi-Loh, Suvarna-Bhasma and Suvarna -Sameer-Pannag-Ras.
A reduced pain sensation in the affected joint can be treated using medicines like Kaishor-Guggulu, Tapyadi-Loh, Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Agnitundi-Vati, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Trikatu (Three pungent herbs), Chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica), Chavya (Piper retrofractrum), Nirgundi (Vitex negundo), Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata) and Dashmool (Ten roots). Destruction of the joint and bone can be prevented or minimized using medicines like Trayodashang-Guggulu, Laxadi-Guggulu, Sinhanaad-Guggulu, Asthishrunkhala (Cissus quadrangularis), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shankh-Bhasma, Shrung-Bhasma and Praval-Panchamrut-Ras.
Early initiation of treatment is important in this condition to minimize permanent and gross damage to the joint. Protection of the joint by minimizing weight with the use of crutches or a walking stick is equally important.