Why is it called Charcot’s foot?

Charcot’s Foot is a problem that typically occurs in those with the neuropathy in diabetes mellitus and can result in deformity of the foot with the destruction of joints, affecting up to a third of those with diabetic neuropathy. It got the name ‘Charcot’s Foot’ as it was first described by the pioneering French neurologist, Jean-Martin Charcot, in 1868. He first described it in those with the neuropathy of tabes dorsalis (a form of neurosyphilis). He did give credit to J.K. Mitchell, who in 1831 suggested an association between spinal lesions and similar type problems of the foot in those with with rheumatological diseases.

In the mid to late 19th century, syphilis was the most common cause of Charcot’s joint as it was so prevalent then. William Jordan in 1936 first described the link between diabetes mellitus and neuropathic arthropathies of the foot.

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