Charcot Joint

Charcot Joint

Charcot joint, or neuropathic joint, describes a destructive arthropathy seen following repeated injury to an anesthetic joint in patients with impaired or absent pain sensation. There is trophic change, with progressive destruction of articular surfaces with disintegration and reorganization of joint structure. Although the destruction is painless, the Charcot joint itself may be painful. There may be concurrent skin ulceration. Charcot joints were originally described in the context of tabes dorsalis (knees, shoulders, elbows, hips, ankles) but they may also be seen in:

  • Syringomyelia (elbow)
  • Hereditary sensory (and autonomic) neuropathies (HSAN, "congenital insensitivity to pain"; ankles)
  • Leprosy
  • Diabetes mellitus



Pearce JMS. Charcot joints. In: Pearce JMS. Fragments of neurologicalhistory. London: Imperial College Press, 2003: 563-565


Analgesia; Main succulente