Comparative Analysis of Secondary Outcomes in Treatment of Charcot Neuropathy: A Systematic Review

Tyler B. Nsekpong, Atish S. Amin, Shahrukh R. Ali, Brian J. Beasley, Vinod Panchbhavi, Daniel C. Jupiter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Charcot neuroarthropathy (CN) is commonly associated with diabetic neuropathy and can predispose patients to amputations. Management remains a challenge, with no definitive treatment. This study examines major postoperative complications associated with open reduction with internal (intramedullary) nails, fixation, external fixation, or combined internal and external fixation for correction of the deformity. Methods: We reviewed available literature using PubMed, OvidSP, Scopus, and Cochrane and searched bibliographies of the included studies to identify additional pertinent references. After review and agreement among 4 raters, a total of 15 studies were included in this analysis. Results: Hardware removal rates were 0.133 for intramedullary nails, 0.007 for external fixators, and 0.050 for combined fixation. Rates of hardware complication were 0.182 for intramedullary nails and 0.007 for external fixators. Wound dehiscence occurred at rates of 0.059 for intramedullary nails and 0.216 for combined fixation. The rate of deep infections was 0.031 for intramedullary nails, 0.032 for external fixators, and 0.113 for combined fixation. The rate of irrigation and debridement was 0.007 for external fixators. Conclusion: Rates of hardware removal (13.3%) and complications (18.2%) were high with intramedullary nails. Dehiscence (21.6%) and deep infection (11.3%) were high in combined fixation. Other complications occurred relatively rarely.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFoot and Ankle Specialist
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Charcot’s joint
  • diabetic foot
  • diabetic neuropathy
  • external and internal fixators
  • postoperative complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Podiatry
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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