Author(s): Fabrin J, Larsen K, Holstein PE
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the long-term results after Charcot breakdown with spontaneous onset in diabetic feet. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This study was retrospective. A total of 115 patients (140 feet), 107 with acute deformity and 8 with chronic Charcot deformity, were followed for a median of 48 months (range 6-114). The routine treatment for acute cases was a weight-off regimen with crutches and foot protection with therapeutic shoes until skin temperature had normalized followed by increased weightbearing and the use of bespoke shoes or modification of conventional shoes. RESULTS: The incidence of Charcot deformity was 0.3\%/year in the diabetic population investigated. About half of the patients were active in their jobs. Major complications were encountered in 5 (4\%) of the patients that required surgical intervention: arthrodesis for unstable malaligned ankles in 3 subjects (1 bilaterally) and major amputation in 2 subjects for unstable ankle and pressure sores. Minor complications were recorded in 43\% of subjects: new attacks of Charcot breakdown in 41 patients (36\%) and/or foot ulceration in 43 patients (37\%) that required minor surgical procedures for 11 patients. All healed except in 2 patients: 1 patient died before the Charcot fractures had healed, and 1 patient died with an unhealed ulcer. No patient lost the ability to walk independently. CONCLUSIONS: Major surgical procedures in only 4\% were particularly related to patients with Charcot deformities in the ankle. Minor complications were recorded in about half of the patients. Lifelong foot care is required for diabetic patients with Charcot feet.
This article was published in Diabetes Care
and referenced in General Medicine: Open Access