Primary Total Hip Arthroplasty for Charcot Arthropathy is Associated With High Complications but Improved Clinical Outcomes

Brian P. Chalmers, Meagan E. Tibbo, Robert T. Trousdale, David G. Lewallen, Daniel J. Berry, Matthew P. Abdel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Neuropathic (Charcot) arthropathy of the hip is rare but can lead to joint destruction, bone loss, and dysfunction. While total hip arthroplasty (THA) may be considered a treatment option, only very limited data in the form of case reports are available on the results of THA. The goal of this study was to analyze the outcomes of primary THA for Charcot arthropathy with emphasis on implant survivorship, complications, and clinical outcomes. Methods: Eleven patients undergoing 12 primary THAs for Charcot arthropathy from 2007 to 2014 were retrospectively reviewed. All patients had a severe underlying neuropathy and clear radiographic evidence of Charcot arthropathy. Mean age was 54 years with 4 patients being female. Mean follow-up was 5 years. Results: Survivorship free of any revision was 75% at both 2 and 5 years. Three THAs (3/12) were revised: 2 for recurrent instability and 1 for femoral component loosening. Survivorship free of any reoperation was 67% at both 2 and 5 years. One additional THA underwent open reduction and internal fixation of a Vancouver B 1 periprosthetic fracture. The overall complication rate (including revisions and reoperations) was high at 58% with 3 recurrent dislocations, 2 periprosthetic fractures, 1 femoral component loosening, and 1 delayed wound healing. Harris Hip Scores improved from a mean of 43 preoperatively to 81 postoperatively (P <.001). Conclusion: In this study, the largest to date, we found that patients undergoing primary THA for Charcot arthropathy have a significant improvement in clinical outcomes but that there was a high risk of early complications and revisions, mostly related to recurrent instability. Specific precautions to avoid early complications, namely utilization of components that provide robust fixation and strategies that provide enhanced hip stability, should be considered. Level of Evidence: Level IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2912-2918
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Arthroplasty
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Charcot arthropathy
  • complications
  • instability
  • neuropathic
  • total hip arthroplasty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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