Journal Article
Randomized Controlled Trial
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Comparison of Arthrodesis with Total Contact Casting for Midfoot Ulcerations Associated with Charcot Neuroarthropathy.

BACKGROUND: Gross deformity of the foot in Charcot neuroarthropathy can lead to foot collapse and subsequent ulceration, infection, amputation, or premature death. Total-contact casting (TCC) is a well-established treatment for neuropathic diabetic plantar foot ulcers. It was hypothesized that arthrodesis plus TCC may have advantages over TCC alone. This pilot study compared the effectiveness of arthrodesis plus TCC with TCC alone for the prevention, treatment, and recurrence of midfoot ulcerations associated with Charcot neuroarthropathy.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty-one subjects with plantar ulcers associated with unilateral diabetic Charcot midfoot neuroarthropathy were randomly assigned to ADS or TCC groups. The ADS group underwent an extended medial column arthrodesis procedure and TCC; ulcers were sutured directly. The TCC group underwent TCC alone with dressing changes. All patients underwent nerve conduction studies and quantitative sensory testing at baseline and during follow-up (6 and 12 months). Healing time and ulcer relapse rate were evaluated.

RESULTS: Compared with the TCC group, there were fewer lesions in the ADS group after treatment (P<0.05). Temperature testing and vibration perception threshold improved significantly after ADS (P<0.05). Although the number of patients positive for pinprick and light touch sensations increased after surgery, not all patients recovered these sensations. Healing time was not significantly different between the 2 groups (24.25±3.89 vs. 25.89±2.84 days, P>0.05). There was no ulcer recurrence after 12 months in the ADS group compared with 33.3% in the TCC group.

CONCLUSIONS: An extended medial column arthrodesis may partly improve sensory impairments and restore protective sensation in patients with Charcot neuroarthropathy.

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