n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - Charcot's osteoarthropathy

Volume 28, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



Charcot's osteoarthropathy is a devastating, chronic, progressive destruction of bone and joint integrity affecting one or more peripheral articulations. It is characterised by joint dislocation, subluxations and pathological fractures in patients with peripheral neuropathy and results in a debilitating deformity, possibly leading to ulceration and amputation.

Although the condition was first described in 1831 by the American physician John Mitchell, it bears the name of the 19th century French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot. The nomenclature of the condition in the literature bears more than 40 different names : Charcot's foot, Charcot's neuro-osteoarthropathy and diabetic neuroarthropathy, to name but a few. While there is no consensus on the most appropriate terminology, resulting in possible confusion in diagnosis and treatment, Charcot's osteoarthropathy appears to be the most acceptable.

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