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)
Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is a progressive deformity that can result in the development of a pathologic flatfoot deformity. Numerous publications have studied the effects of clinical interventions at specific stages of progression of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, but there is still uncertainty regarding the clinical identification of the condition. It is clear that more information regarding the etiology, progression, and risk factors of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is required. Clear evidence exists that suggests that the quality of life for patients with posterior tibial tendon dysfunction is significantly affected. Furthermore, evidence suggests that early conservative intervention can significantly improve quality of life regarding disability, function, and pain. This would suggest that significant cost burden reductions could be made by improving awareness of the condition, which would improve early diagnosis. Early conservative intervention may help reduce the number of patients requiring surgery. This review focuses on the etiologic factors, epidemiologic features, and pathogenesis of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. It aims to analyze, discuss, and debate the current understanding of this condition using the available literature. In addition, there is a discussion of the evidence base surrounding disease characteristics associated with the different clinical stages of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(2): 176–186, 2011)