DPM, MPH Robert G. Frykberg, DPM Lee C. Rogers
The Charcot foot is a devastating but oftentimes preventable complication of diabetes with peripheral neuropathy. The condition has several synonyms including Charcot’s arthropathy, Charcot joint disease, Charcot syndrome, tabetic arthropathy, diabetic neuropathic osteoarthropathy, and many derivations or combinations thereof. It is named after Jean-Martin Charcot (1825–1893), a French neurologist who first described the joint disease associated with tabes dorsalis and named it the “arthropathy of locomotor ataxia.” In 1881, J-M Charcot presented his findings at the 7th International Medical Congress in London which was attended by many acclaimed physicians of the era. During this meeting the eponym “Charcot’s Disease” was designated by Sir James Paget to these degenerative neuropathic changes in bones and joints. Although W. Musgrave in 1703 and later J.K. Mitchell in 1831 ostensibly described osteoarthropathy associated with venereal disease and spinal cord lesions, respectively, Charcot’s name remains synonymous with neuropathic arthropathies regardless of etiology.