Tabetic arthropathy revealing neurosyphilis: a new observation
Siham Lakjiri, Fatima Zahra Mernissi
The Pan African Medical Journal. ;18:198. doi:10.11604/pamj..18.198.4893

Create an account  |  Sign in
PAMJ - Clinical Medicine PAMJ - Clinical Medicine
"Better health through knowledge sharing and information dissemination "

Images in clinical medicine

Tabetic arthropathy revealing neurosyphilis: a new observation

Siham Lakjiri, Fatima Zahra Mernissi
Pan Afr Med J. 2014; 18:198. doi:10.11604/pamj.2014.18.198.4893. Published 05 Jul 2014

A 43-year-old man, consulted for a gradual increase in the volume of the knee that has evolved over 4 years. At the clinical exam the right knee joint was completely pain free with important swelling. The radiological features were characteristic in the right knee joint with complete destruction and slight at the left knee. The diagnosis was confirmed by the presence of positive syphilis serology in the blood, the joint fluid and the cerebrospinal fluid. The patient was treated by penicillin G. Tabès is a rare degenerative manifestation of tertiary syphilis, affecting the posterior column of the spinal cord, occuring on an average of 15 years after contamination. Clinically it is characterized by several manifestations including Charcot arthropathy. The pathophysiology of tabetic arthrpathy is complex. Clinically, there is a significant joint deformation with spontaneous fracture dislocation contrasting with no pain, which delays the consultation and therefore the management (case of our patient who consults after 4 years). The large joints of lower lumbs are its elective location. Orthopedic treatment remains disappointing and management is based on intravenous penicillin G. Value of the prevention, screening and the early treatment of syphilis in order to avoid such a dreaded complication.

Corresponding author:
Siham Lakjiri, Department of Dermatology, CHU Hassan II, Fez, Morocco

©Siham Lakjiri et al. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

More images in clinical medicine


PAMJ Images in Medicine and Public Health are archived on Pubmed Central. Access PAMJ archives on PMC here

Volume 34 (September - December 2019)

This image

Share this image:

Filter images [Reset filter]

By language

PAMJ is published in collaboration with the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET)
Currently tracked by: DOAJ, AIM, Google Scholar, AJOL, EBSCO, Scopus, Embase, IC, HINARI, Global Health, PubMed Central, PubMed/Medline, Ulrichsweb, More to come . Member of COPE.

ISSN: 1937-8688. © 2019 - Pan African Medical Journal. All rights reserved