Eighteen patients being treated for Charcot arthropathy of the foot or ankle completed the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) Outcomes Instrument. Subjects rated their general health as fair to poor. Specific AAOS foot and ankle scores ranged from 15 to 46. SF-36 component scales were compared with available population controls. The SF-36 physical function and pain component scores ranged from 10.3 to 44.2 (controls, 71.9 to 84.2). The social, emotional, and mental health scores ranged from 42.5 to 61.5 (controls, 74.7 to 83.3). The results of this observational impact study reveal that Charcot foot and ankle deformity dramatically impact negatively on the lifestyle of afflicted individuals. It leads to frequent disability or premature retirement from the workforce. Pain and emotional illness do not appear to be a major component of the impact of the disease on health-related quality of life.