To review the clinical outcome of arthrodesis of the foot in patients with diabetic Charcot arthropathy and to review the pathophysiology, clinical and radiographic features of Charcot arthropathy.
A retrospective review and clinical follow-up of a series of patients.
St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, a tertiary care teaching hospital.
Ten diabetic patients treated between 1996 and 1998 who required an arthrodesis of the midfoot or hindfoot secondary to deformity of diabetic neuropathic joints.
Three midfoot (Lisfranc) and 7 hindfoot arthrodeses with autogenous iliac-crest bone grafting and internal fixation.
Patient satisfaction, maintenance of the correction of the deformity and avoidance of amputation. Western Ontario/McMaster University score and midfoot/hindfoot American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society foot ratios. Clinical examination including E-MED pedographic examination. Correction and evidence of bony or fibrous union assessed radiologically.
The postoperative correction was maintained, no further skin ulceration occurred and amputation was avoided in 9 of 10 patients. Because this is a salvage procedure and there was often significant concomitant illness, the results of clinical rating systems were poor. Five of 9 patients had clinical and radiographic evidence of a solid bony arthrodesis; 4 had a stable fibrous union.
With careful surgical technique, a reasonable number of feet can be salvaged by an arthrodesis of a diabetic neuropathic joint when nonoperative measures fail. Patient selection is important because there is a significant complication rate.