Question of the week #60

A middle aged man presents with a history of foot pain on walking for a few weeks. The patient has a history of long standing diabetes mellitus for more than 15 years. He has been on Metformin and Glyburide combination. His HGBA1C that was obtained 3 months ago revealed inadequate control  at 9%. He reports pain and swelling in his right foot for about one month.  On examination the foot is swollen & tender to touch. Neurlogical examination reveals loss of vibratory sensation and position sensation in bilateral feet. There is also impaired light touch until the level of knees bilaterally. Joint motion at the level of ankle is within normal limits. Complete blood count , creatinine and ESR are with in normal limits. Most likely working diagnosis for his right foot pain  is :

a)      Chronic  Gout

b)       Septic arthritis

c)        Peripheral Neuropathy

d)       Charcot arthropathy

e)       Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy

12 Responses

  1. C

  2. answer is c

  3. ddddddd?

  4. D

  5. d

  6. D.Charcoat Arthropathy/Neuroapathic joint

    Most common Cause -1.Diabetes(now)
    2.Syphilis(Charcot)(Ref-eMedicine)

    Rx:Acute Phase-1.Immobilization-By Casting
    2.Reduction of Stress-Decreasing the amount of wt bearing

  7. SAJU why not just straight peripheral neuropathy that then became complicated?
    thanks
    Nathaly

  8. Cheers Saju
    Why not just straight peripheral neuropathy that then became complicated?
    thanks
    Nathaly

  9. Answer D

    Charcot arthropathy occurs as a complication of diabetes, syphilis, chronic alcoholism, leprosy, meningomyelocele, spinal cord injury, syringomyelia, renal dialysis, and congenital insensitivity to pain. Diabetes is considered to be the most common cause of Charcot arthropathy.

    The autonomic neuropathy leads to abnormal bone formation, and the sensory neuropathy leads to an insensate joint that is susceptible to trauma. The development of abnormal bone with no ability to protect the joint results in gradual bone fracture and in the subluxation of the joint.

    Acute Charcot arthropathy almost always presents with signs of inflammation. Profound unilateral swelling, an increase in local skin temperature (generally, an increase of 3-7 º above the nonaffected foot’s skin temperature), erythema, joint effusion, and bone resorption in an insensate foot are present. These characteristics, in the presence of intact skin and a loss of protective sensation, are often pathognomonic of acute Charcot arthropathy

    Pain can occur in more than 75% of patients; however, the pain’s severity is significantly less than would be expected based on the severity of the clinical and/or radiographic findings. Instability and loss of joint function also may be present. Passive movement of the joint may reveal a “loose bag of bones.” Approximately 40% of patients with acute Charcot arthropathy have concomitant ulceration, which complicates the diagnosis and raises concerns that osteomyelitis is present.

  10. if Acute Charcot arthropathy is an inflammatory condition, why is ESR NL in this question?

  11. joint movement within normal limit, how it can be charcot?

    • charcot may or may not have abnormal joint movement, determined by the severity of disease.

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