Charcot arthropathy of the shoulder joint as a presenting feature of basilar impression with syringomyelia: A case report and literature review

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Charcot arthropathy, also known as Neuropathic arthropathy (NA), is an unusual chronic degenerative disease. To date, there exists a paucity of research on NA caused by syringomyelia.

Patients concerns:

A 52-year-old non-diabetic female presented with progressive swelling, pain and limited movement in her left shoulder joint combined with asthenia of her left upper extremity for three months.


Neuropathic arthropathy of the shoulder associated with the cervicothoracic syrinx and basilar impressions was diagnosed.


The treatment is directed to its potential cause to cease its progression. A posterior fossa decompression (PFD) was conducted for this patient.


Postoperatively, the patient's symptoms were relieved and the size of syrinx was reduced at the 6-month follow-up.


Taken together with 34 previous reports identified from a PubMed search, an analysis of 35 cases of Charcot arthropathy was conducted. Surgical decompression is an effective treatment, but the optimal treatment remains controversial. Thus, the aim of this literature review was to remind us to diagnose the potential cause as early as possible and we should spare no efforts on the exploration of etiology and adjuvant therapy for this disease.

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