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Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2008 Jan;25(1):43-51, vi. doi: 10.1016/j.cpm.2007.10.006.

The diagnosis of Charcot foot.

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Foot and Ankle Surgery, Amputation Prevention Center, Broadlawns Medical Center, 1801 Hickman Road, Des Moines, IA 50314, USA.


Charcot foot is a rapidly progressive disease process occurring in those with peripheral neuropathy. The disease is frequently misdiagnosed resulting in a delay of appropriate treatment, worsening the outcome. We present the hallmarks for diagnosis of Charcot foot based on the clinical examination and imaging studies. We provide a simple algorithm based on evidence and experience for the investigation of the foot when Charcot arthropathy is suspected. Additionally, we propose a new classification that accounts for the degree of complications in the Charcot joint. This new system considers deformity, ulceration, and osteomyelitis, which may help to predict amputation.

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