What is the role of radiography in the diagnosis of Charcot arthropathy?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: Mrugeshkumar Shah, MD, MPH, MS; Chief Editor: Vinod K Panchbhavi, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Plain radiographs (see the image below) are used for the following purposes:

  • To help stage disease (see Anatomy)
  • To help determine if active disease is present or if the joint is stable (monitor serial radiographs)
  • To help identify osteopenia, periarticular fragmentation of bone, subluxations, dislocations, fractures, and generalized destruction
Neuropathic arthropathy (Charcot joint). Neuropath Neuropathic arthropathy (Charcot joint). Neuropathic arthropathy of shoulder in patient with syringomyelia. Note destruction of articular surface, dislocation, and debris, which are pathognomonic for neuropathic joint.

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