Management of diabetic neuropathic ankle arthropathy by arthrodesis using an Ilizarov frame

Published online: Dec 27 2010

Ahmed H. Yousry, Amr M. Abdalhady

From Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt


Charcot neuroarthropathy is a peripheral and autonomic neuropathy that typically presents as a hyperaemic event (e.g. a red, swollen foot). The diabetic Charcot ankle and foot is a potentially limb-threatening disorder that is being recognized with increasing frequency in persons with longstanding diabetes and concomitant peripheral sensory neuropathy. While considered a rare complication of diabetes, it can be a devastating complication requiring months of treatment to arrest its progression. The main problems encountered in this process are osteopenia, fragmentation of the bones of the foot and ankle, joint subluxation or even dislocation, ulceration of the skin and the development of deep sepsis. Arthrodesis using an Ilizarov external fixator is regarded as an optimal choice for the treatment of Charcot arthropathy.