Neuropathic arthropathy, also known as Charcot arthropathy, of the elbow joint is a rare and progressive joint disorder with little available information in the literature. Presentation and treatment data on 6 patients with this pathology are reviewed. In addition, outcome data are presented on all 6 patients at a mean follow-up of 51 months. Three of these patients had undergone surgical procedures for the treatment of their pathology. At the time of their latest follow-up, 2 patients had died but reported good pain relief and functional range of motion before their deaths. At a mean follow-up of 63 months, the remaining 4 patients also had minimal pain. Of these 4 patients, 3 reported moderate to gross instability in their elbows. Nevertheless, all 4 patients had good functional use of their arms with a mean Mayo Elbow Performance Score of 91. Our data suggest that surgical treatment of appropriate patients does not necessarily preclude a successful outcome. However, surgical treatment was also associated with an unpredictable course and a high rate of complications. Therefore, most patients with this pathology should be treated with nonoperative methods, and routine surgical intervention should be avoided.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine