The diagnosis of Charcot foot

Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2008 Jan;25(1):43-51, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.cpm.2007.10.006.


Charcot foot is a rapidly progressive disease process occurring in those with peripheral neuropathy. The disease is frequently misdiagnosed resulting in a delay of appropriate treatment, worsening the outcome. We present the hallmarks for diagnosis of Charcot foot based on the clinical examination and imaging studies. We provide a simple algorithm based on evidence and experience for the investigation of the foot when Charcot arthropathy is suspected. Additionally, we propose a new classification that accounts for the degree of complications in the Charcot joint. This new system considers deformity, ulceration, and osteomyelitis, which may help to predict amputation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Arthropathy, Neurogenic / classification
  • Arthropathy, Neurogenic / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Osteomyelitis / diagnosis*