Charcot foot osteoarthropathy in diabetes mellitus

Mil Med. 1991 Oct;156(10):563-9.


Charcot joint, a destructive bone and joint disorder of the foot, is becoming more common in long-term diabetic patients. The combination of diabetic neuropathy and painless trauma causes dislocation and collapse of the tarsal joints. The resulting soft tissue and osseous pathology easily mimics an infective episode. This report presents a review of the clinical identification, diagnosis, and treatment of this unusual diabetic complication, plus a review of three cases. Also, the pathogenesis of Charcot joint is explained in describing why surgery can be a viable treatment alternative in these patients, after careful evaluation. It is also necessary that physicians inspect the feet of their diabetic patients to rule out quiescent beginnings of Charcot joints. Referral to a podiatrist is recommended for long-term management of the Charcot foot.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthropathy, Neurogenic / diagnosis
  • Arthropathy, Neurogenic / etiology*
  • Arthropathy, Neurogenic / therapy
  • Diabetic Neuropathies* / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Neuropathies* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged