This study aims to examine the duration and rate of delayed diagnosis in Charcot foot. We systematically reviewed articles published in Medline, SCOPUS, and Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature to identify articles discussing delayed or misdiagnosis of Charcot foot. Random-effects models were generated to determine the average time from symptom onset to correct diagnosis (diagnostic delay duration) and proportion of patients misdiagnosed prior to being correctly diagnosed (delayed diagnosis rate). Our search identified 142 articles, 7 of which are included in this review. The review found that 53.2% of cases of Charcot osteoarthropathy experienced a delay in diagnosis (95% CI: 28.9%-77.4%). Overall, the duration of diagnostic delay was determined to be 86.9 days (95% CI: 10.5-162.1). We found that patients with Charcot foot experienced prolonged delays from symptom onset to correct diagnosis, and a majority of patients are misdiagnosed. These delays in diagnosis contribute to worse patient outcomes.
Keywords: charcot osteoarthropathy; delayed diagnosis; diabetes; diagnostic errors systematic review.