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Charcot Joints.

George E. Ehrlich, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1966;118(5):521. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.00290170109045.
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In 1868, Charcot described the marked derangement of a joint produced by syphilis of the central nervous system which ever since has borne his name. Gradually, other causes of this destructive arthropathy have been recognized; they include pernicious anemia, nutritional deficiency, syringomyelia, leprosy, tumor of the cauda equina, spina bifida, surgical chordotomy, and various unkown factors. The lesions produced by diabetes mellitus are confined to the ankle or foot. Dr. Eichenholtz has summarized his experience gleaned predominantly at the Veterans Administration Hospital in New York City. There are some surprises. Not all Charcot joints are painless. Healing ability is not compromised. Fractures of denervated extremities can mimic Charcot joints. Early diagnosis is possible, though the classic roentgenographic findings are not yet present. The spine may also be the site of neuropathic arthropathy. As is well known, repeated injections of corticosteroids may occasionally result in findings indistinguishable from Charcot joints.



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