CLINICAL FEATURES: The patient fell into a hole, injuring her left foot. Because of the anesthesia associated with her diabetic peripheral neuropathy, she did not notice the ensuing plantar puncture wound. The patient assumed that her swelling was a result of a sprain. Mild dislocation and osseous fragmentation was noted within the midfoot on radiographs. The neuropathic osteoarthropathy progressed until the patient was later casted. Plain films taken at the time of cast removal demonstrated resorption and consolidation of fragmentation, but the dislocation was unaltered.
INTERVENTION AND OUTCOME: The patient was scheduled for surgery and wound debridement. However, before surgery, complications of a burn sustained on the contralateral foot required fifth ray amputation. Surgery of the left foot has been postponed until adequate postsurgical healing has occurred at the right foot amputation site.
CONCLUSION: This article provides tools for the timely diagnosis and treatment of neuropathic osteoarthropathy. An increased understanding of this entity will help lead to a reduction in the incidence of delayed treatment resulting from misdiagnosis.
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