Pathogenesis of the neurotrophic joint: neurotraumatic vs. neurovascular

Radiology. 1981 May;139(2):349-54. doi: 10.1148/radiology.139.2.7220879.


The most widely accepted and propagated theory of neurotrophic joint pathogenesis is the neurotraumatic one. Seldom published and little known is the neurovascular theory. To gain better understanding of the pathogenesis, we reviewed radiographs of 91 neurotrophic joints with attention to the particular joint affected, the type of changes present (resorptive vs. productive), and the time sequence involved. The pathological findings, when available, were also reviewed. While many joint changes could not be explained on a traumatic basis alone, all could be explained by a vascular mechanism.

MeSH terms

  • Arthropathy, Neurogenic / diagnostic imaging
  • Arthropathy, Neurogenic / etiology*
  • Bone Resorption / etiology
  • Bone and Bones / blood supply*
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Fractures, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Humans
  • Radiography
  • Reflex, Abnormal / complications
  • Syringomyelia / complications
  • Tabes Dorsalis / complications