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Foot Ankle. 1983 Jul-Aug;4(1):15-22.

Diabetic neuroarthropathy in the foot: patient characteristics and patterns of radiographic change.


The diagnosis of diabetic neuroarthropathy of the foot can be difficult. A series of 96 patients (116 extremities) who had diabetes and peripheral neuropathy with bone and joint changes was reviewed. Typically, the patients were middle-aged or older, were taking insulin, and had had diabetes for more than 10 years. Retinopathy, nephropathy, and peripheral vascular disease were often present. There were abnormalities of vibratory sensation (94%) and of the gastrosoleus reflex (88%). The finding of specific radiographic abnormalities assisted but did not reliably differentiate neuropathy from infection. Three patterns of radiographic changes were noted: (1) at the metatarsophalangeal and interphalangeal joints, usually with underlying ulceration; (2) at the tarsometatarsal joints; and (3) in the anterior pillar-medial column of the foot, with talus, talonavicular, navicular, or naviculocuneiform destruction. Ulceration and infection in patients with patterns (2) and (3) were rare. When correlated, the demographic features, mode of presentation, physical signs, specific radiographic abnormalities, and patterns of change were distinctive and allowed the diagnosis of this complication of diabetes to be readily made.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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