Spontaneous posterior shoulder dislocation as the first symptom of a Charcot arthropathy


Charcot disease; shoulder; arthrolysis; Arnold Chiari; syringomyelia

Published online: Mar 30 2018

Jacques Hernigou , Sofiane Boulares , Olivier Delahaut


Neuroarthropathy or Charcot disease is a destructive joint pathology. Upper limb involvement is unusual and often due to syringomyelia.

We reported a patient with spontaneous posterior right shoulder dislocation. Thereafter, she presented a quick joint destruction evoking a Charcot shoulder disease after excluding infectious and rheumatologic diseases. Explorations of this Charcot disease lead to the discovery and treatment of syringomyelia. A conservative management of her shoulder neuro- arthropathy has been proposed to the patient.

Shoulder involvement in Charcot disease is unusual: only 5% of cases. 18 cases have been reported in English literature. Two theories try to explain Charcot disease: neuro-vascular and neuro-traumatic. There is no efficient treatment for Charcot shoulder disease but it can be prevented by surgical treatment of syringomyelia.

Charcot shoulder is a rare and morbid disease for which conservative treatment is recommended because of disappointing results of arthroplasty and arthrodesis.