Chronic Achilles tendon lesions (CATLs) ensue from a neglected acute rupture or a degenerated tendon. Surgical treatment is usually required. The current English literature (PubMed) about CATLs was revised, and particular emphasis was given to articles depicting CATL classification. The available treatment algorithms are based on defect size. We propose the inclusion of other parameters, such as tendon degeneration, etiology, and time from injury to surgery. Partial lesions affecting less than (I stage) or more than (II stage) half of the tendon should be treated conservatively for healthy tendons, within 12 weeks of injury. In II stage complex cases, an end-to-end anastomosis is required. Complete lesions inferior to 2 cm should be addressed by an end-to-end anastomosis, with a tendon transfer in the case of tendon degeneration. Lesions measuring 2 to 5 cm require a turndown flap and a V-Y tendinous flap in the case of a good-quality tendon; degenerated tendons may require a tendon transfer. Lesions larger than 5 cm should be treated using two tendon transfers and V-Y tendinous flaps. A proper algorithm should be introduced to calibrate the surgical procedures. In addition to tendon defect size, tendon degeneration, etiology of the lesion, and time from injury to surgery are crucial factors that should be considered in the surgical planning.
Achilles tendon rupture is a common athletic injury that results in a painful and antalgic gait. Flexor hallucis longus tendon transfer through arthroscopic, single-incision, or double-incision techniques is used as a treatment approach to address this rupture; however, no studies have compared postoperative complications between these three techniques. A systematic search of published articles was conducted using keywords “Achilles rupture,” “flexor hallucis tendon,” “transfer,” and “recovery.” Articles were then selected based on their title, abstract, and content following full-text review. From each article's reported surgical outcomes, a comparison was made between arthroscopic and single- and double-incision postoperative complications using a χ2 test with significance set at a value of P < .05 followed by post hoc analysis. The arthroscopic approach maintained the lowest rate of postoperative complications, followed by the single- and double-incision techniques. A significant difference in the number of postoperative complications was found between all incisional approaches. The pairwise comparisons, however, could not identify which incisional approaches significantly differed between each other. A reduction in postoperative complications places arthroscopy and the single-incision techniques as the preferred approaches for flexor hallucis longus tendon transfer following an Achilles tendon rupture. Although current literature shows arthroscopy to be superior to single- and double-incision methods, this review demonstrates the need for a greater number of published cases using arthroscopy to establish significance regarding postoperative complications.
Equinus is characterized by reduced dorsiflexion of the ankle joint, but there is a lack of consensus regarding criteria for definition and diagnosis. This review examines the literature relating to the definition, assessment, diagnosis, prevalence, and complications of equinus. Articles on equinus and assessment of ankle joint range of motion were identified by searching the EMBASE, Medline, PubMed, EBSCOhost, Cinahl, and Cochrane databases and by examining the reference lists of the articles found. There is inconsistency regarding the magnitude of reduction in dorsiflexion required to constitute a diagnosis of equinus and no standard method for assessment; hence, the prevalence of equinus is unknown. Goniometric assessment of ankle joint range of motion was shown to be unreliable, whereas purpose-built tools demonstrated good reliability. Reduced dorsiflexion is associated with alterations in gait, increased forefoot pressure, and ankle injury, the magnitude of reduction in range of motion required to predispose to foot or lower-limb abnormalities is not known. In the absence of definitive data, we propose a two-stage definition of equinus: the first stage would reflect dorsiflexion of less than 10° with minor compensation and a minor increase in forefoot pressure, and the second stage would reflect dorsiflexion of less than 5° with major compensation and a major increase in forefoot pressure. This proposed definition of equinus will assist with standardizing the diagnosis and will provide a basis for future studies of the prevalence, causes, and complications of this condition. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(3): 195–203, 2010)
There are many theoretical models that attempt to accurately and consistently link kinematic and kinetic information to musculoskeletal pain and deformity of the foot. Biomechanical theory of the foot lacks a consensual model: clinicians are enticed to draw from numerous paradigms, each having different levels of supportive evidence and contrasting methods of evaluation, in order to engage in clinical deduction and treatment planning. Contriving to find a link between form and function lies at the heart of most of these competing theories and the physical nature of the discipline has prompted an engineering approach. Physics is of great importance in biology and helps us to model the forces that the foot has to deal with in order for it to work effectively. However, the tissues of the body have complex processes that are in place to protect them and they are variable between individuals. Research is uncovering why these differences exist and how these processes are governed. The emerging explanations for adaptability of foot structure and musculoskeletal homeostasis offer new insights into how clinical variation in outcomes and treatment effects might arise. These biological processes underlie how variation in the performance and use of common traits, even within apparently similar subgroups, make anatomical distinction less meaningful and are likely to undermine the justification of a “foot type.” Furthermore, mechanobiology introduces a probabilistic element to morphology based on genetic and epigenetic factors.
Ankle dorsiflexion measurement is important for clinical and research use. With so much evidence on the unreliability of goniometric measurements, a systematic review was performed to investigate various alternative techniques for measuring ankle dorsiflexion in the nonneurologic patient. All of the major databases were queried electronically to identify studies that used any method of ankle dorsiflexion measurement in the nonneurologic subject. Keywords included ankle dorsiflexion NOT cerebral palsy NOT stroke, the latter to exclude neurologic conditions. In 755 studies that used some form of ankle joint dorsiflexion measurement, ten different techniques were identified that included various apparatuses designed specifically for this purpose. Reliability testing of these techniques involved test-retest trials with small student populations as subjects, which returned high intraclass correlation coefficient scores. However, their methodological quality would have benefitted from the use of an actual patient population and comparison with a reference standard. When validating ankle dorsiflexion measurement techniques, actual patient populations should be used, otherwise papers would score poorly on methodological quality assessment. Standardizing patient position, foot posture, amount of moment applied, and reference landmarks will ensure that various trial results can be compared directly. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(1): 59–69, 2011)
Background: Plantar fascia release for chronic plantar fasciitis has provided excellent pain relief and rapid return to activities with few reported complications. Cadaveric studies have led to the identification of some potential postoperative problems, most commonly weakness of the medial longitudinal arch and pain in the lateral midfoot.
Methods: An electronic search was conducted of the MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, SportDiscus, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane, and AMED databases. The keywords used to search these databases were plantar fasciotomy and medial longitudinal arch. Articles published between 1976 and 2008 were identified.
Results: Collectively, results of cadaveric studies suggested that plantar fasciotomy leads to loss of integrity of the medial longitudinal arch and that total plantar fasciotomy is more detrimental to foot structure than is partial fasciotomy. In vivo studies, although limited in number, concluded that although clinical outcomes were satisfactory, medial longitudinal arch height decreased and the center of pressure of the weightbearing foot was excessively medially deviated postoperatively.
Conclusions: Plantar fasciotomy, in particular total plantar fasciotomy, may lead to loss of stability of the medial longitudinal arch and abnormalities in gait, in particular an excessively pronated foot. Further in vivo studies on the long-term biomechanical effects of plantar fasciotomy are required. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(5): 422–430, 2009)
This article explores relevant full-text literature to reveal the effects of heel height on gait and posture and the kinetics and kinematics of the foot, ankle, knee, hip, and spine. Furthermore, special attention will be given to the implications of increased heel height for clinicians treating locomotor disorders and provide information to aid clinical decision making. Full-text articles accessed from databases including AMED, ASSIA, Blackwell Synergy, BNI, Voyager, CINAHL, ScienceDirect, and Taylor Francis inform the review. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(6): 512–518, 2009)
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that targets several tissues and organs and plays an important role in calcium homeostasis. Vitamin D deficiency is common, particularly at higher latitudes, where there is reduced exposure to ultraviolet B radiation. We reviewed the role of vitamin D and its deficiency in foot and ankle pathology.
The effects of vitamin D deficiency have been extensively studied, but only a small portion of the literature has focused on the foot and ankle. Most evidence regarding the foot and ankle consists of retrospective studies, which cannot determine whether vitamin D deficiency is, in fact, the cause of the pathologies being investigated.
The available evidence suggests that insufficient vitamin D levels may result in an increased incidence of foot and ankle fractures. The effects of vitamin D deficiency on fracture healing, bone marrow edema syndrome, osteochondral lesions of the talus, strength around the foot and ankle, tendon disorders, elective foot and ankle surgery, and other foot and ankle conditions are less clear.
Based on the available evidence, we cannot recommend routine testing or supplementation of vitamin D in patients with foot and ankle pathology. However, supplementation is cheap, safe, and may be of benefit in patients at high risk for deficiency. When vitamin D is supplemented, the evidence suggests that calcium should be co-supplemented. Further high-quality research is needed into the effect of vitamin D in the foot and ankle. Cost-benefit analyses of routine testing and supplementation of vitamin D for foot and ankle pathology are also required.
Foot complications are common in diabetic patients; foot ulcers are among the more serious consequences. These ulcers frequently become infected, and if not treated promptly and appropriately, diabetic foot infections can lead to septic gangrene and amputation. Foot infections may be classified as mild, moderate, or severe; this largely determines the approach to therapy. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common pathogen in these infections, and the increasing incidence of methicillin-resistant S aureus during the past two decades has further complicated antibiotic treatment. Chronic infections are often polymicrobial. Physiologic changes, and local and systemic inflammation, can affect the plasma and tissue pharmacokinetics of antimicrobial agents in diabetic patients, leading to impaired target-site penetration. Knowledge of the serum and tissue concentrations of antibiotics in diabetic patients is, therefore, important for choosing the optimal drug and dose. This article reviews the commonly used therapeutic options for treatment, including many newer antibiotics developed to target multidrug-resistant gram-positive bacteria, and includes available data relating specifically to the tissue penetration of these agents. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 100(1): 52–63, 2010)