Current concepts of Charcot foot in diabetic patients

Foot (Edinb). 2016 Mar:26:7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.foot.2015.11.001. Epub 2015 Nov 25.


The Charcot foot is an uncommon complication of neuropathy in diabetes. It is a disabling and devastating condition. The etiology of the Charcot foot is unknown, but it is characterized by acute inflammation with collapse of the foot and/or the ankle. Although the cause of this potentially debilitating condition is not known, it is generally accepted that the components of neuropathy that lead to foot complications must exist. When it is not detected early, a severe deformity will result in a secondary ulceration, infection, and amputation. Immobilization in the early stages is the key for success, but severe deformity may still develop. When severe deformity is present, bracing may be attempted but often patients will need surgical intervention. Good success has been shown with internal and external fixation. In patients with concomitant osteomyelitis, severe deformity, and/or soft tissue infection, a high amputation may be the best treatment of choice.

Keywords: Ankle; Charcot; Diabetes; Foot; Neuroarthropathy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arthropathy, Neurogenic / diagnosis
  • Arthropathy, Neurogenic / etiology*
  • Arthropathy, Neurogenic / therapy
  • Diabetic Foot / complications*
  • Diabetic Foot / diagnosis
  • Humans