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Evaluation of Clinical and Radiographic Outcomes of Complete Subtalar Release in Clubfoot Treatment

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  • 1 Orthopedics, Tepecik Educational and Research Hospital, and Department of Orthopedics, Social Security Hospital, Yenisehir, Izmir, Turkey.
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Background: We evaluated patients with unilateral clubfoot deformity who were treated by complete subtalar release according to Simons’ criteria and assessed the correlation between clinical and radiographic results.

Methods: Eleven patients underwent a complete subtalar release through a Cincinnati incision. Evaluation included a questionnaire and clinical and radiographic examination.

Results: Mean follow-up was 12 years 8 months. The radiographic measurement differences in the diagnostic angles between normal feet and clubfeet were not significant. Shortening of the talus and the navicular bone was significant. The talar dome was flattened in seven patients and was flattened, sclerotic, and irregular in one. Flattening of the talar head was detected in eight patients, irregularity in one, and deformity and sclerosis in one. Six patients had deformity in the talonavicular joint. The navicular bone was wedge shaped in nine patients and subluxated dorsally in seven. The talar head was congruent with the navicular bone semilunar in normal feet; this relation was not detected in patients treated for clubfoot.

Conclusion: Radiographic changes, such as flattening of the talar, a wedge-shaped navicular bone, dorsal navicular migration, irregularity, and lack of congruence of the talonavicular joint, can be encountered postoperatively in clinically and cosmetically healthy patients. These changes may be caused by the nature of the disease, correcting manipulations or casting, or surgical techniques. Although complete subtalar release is an effective procedure for satisfactory clinical results, maintenance of anatomical configuration, but not normal anatomical development of tarsal bones, can be achieved with this method. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(6): 451–456, 2008)

Corresponding author: Onder Kalenderer, MD, Orthopedics, Tepecik Educational and Research Hospital, Department of Orthopedics, Social Security Hospital, Yenisehir, Izmir, 35440 Turkey. (E-mail: okalenderer@yahoo.com)