Which therapies are under investigation for the treatment of Charcot arthropathy?

Updated: Mar 23, 2020
  • Author: Mrugeshkumar Shah, MD, MPH, MS; Chief Editor: Vinod K Panchbhavi, MD, FACS  more...
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Although immobilization and NWB on the affected extremity remain the mainstays of therapy, other treatment options are being tested. [5] One option is the use of bisphosphonates, which are potent inhibitors of bone resorption that have minimal effect on bone formation. [18, 19]  This action stops the osteoclastic activity of bone breakdown, promotes healing, and decreases local inflammation. However, only a few case reports have examined this treatment as an alternative.

Another therapy that is currently being researched is low-intensity ultrasound. [20]  Pulsed low-intensity ultrasound has been shown to transmit micromechanical force and strains to the fracture site and to promote bone formation. Studies have demonstrated an acceleration in healing and an increase in strength at the callus site.

Finally, the use of electrical stimulation and of magnetic field therapy to stimulate bone formation has been discussed in a few case reports. These therapies have shown some benefit in accelerating healing times. However, no prospective studies indicate a positive effect.

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