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Charcot Arthropathy of the First Metatarsophalangeal Joint

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  • 1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler Strasse 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany.
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Charcot arthropathy is an acute or subacute, often indolent, non-infectious or tumorous osteoarticular destruction of weightbearing skeletal structures in patients with reduced pain perception due to peripheral neuropathy. The authors present a rare case of progressive Charcot arthropathy of the first metatarsophalangeal joint with accompanying ulcer and foot deformity due to peripheral neuropathy. An arthrodesis of the first metatarsophalangeal joint with resection of the hypertrophic bone and osteophytes using a locking plate was performed. Also a condylectomy of the base of the proximal phalanx digitus II and III as well as a shortening osteotomy of the third metatarsal were conducted. The ulcer was debrided and primarily closed by suture. Mobilization was performed without weightbearing in a postoperative shoe for 6 weeks, the ulcer was completely healed and the arthrodesis had fused. Owing to the complexity of Charcot arthropathy careful preoperative evaluation, timing and dimension of surgery as well as treatment of associated comorbidities and sufficient postoperative care is important to reduce the complication rate and improve long-term results. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(2): 161–164, 2012)

Corresponding author: Marco Gesicki, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospital Tübingen, Hoppe-Seyler Strasse 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany. (E-mail: Marco.Gesicki@med.uni-tuebingen.de)