Background: Many authors have highlighted the role of muscle strength imbalance around the ankle in the development of recurrent clubfoot following Ponseti treatment. Nevertheless, this possible underlying mechanism behind recurrences has not been investigated sufficiently to date. This study aimed to explore whether there is a relationship between Achilles tendon elongation and recurrent metatarsus adductus deformity in children with unilateral clubfeet treated by Ponseti method. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on 20 children (14 boys, 6 girls; mean age: 7 years; age range: 5-9) with a recurrent metatarsus adductus deformity treated by the Ponseti method for unilateral idiopathic clubfoot. At the final follow-up, isometric muscle strength was measured using a portable, hand-held dynamometer in reciprocal muscle groups of the ankle. The length of the tendons around the ankle was ultrasonographically measured. Results: The plantar flexion/dorsiflexion ratio was lower on the involved side (p = 0.001). No significant differences in the strength ratio of inversion/eversion were found (p = 0.4). No difference was observed in lengths of tibialis anterior and posterior tendon (p = 0,1), but Achilles tendon was longer on the involved side (p = 0.001; p < 0.01). A significant negative correlation was discovered between involved/uninvolved Achilles tendon length ratios and involved/uninvolved plantar flexion strength ratios (r = −0.524; p = 0.02) Conclusions: Achilles tendon elongation may be a contributor to the muscle imbalance in clubfeet with the relapsed forefoot adduction treated by the Ponseti technique.
The intent of this study was to determine whether differences in function, walking characteristics, and plantar pressures exist in individuals after operative fixation of an intra-articular calcaneal fracture (HFX) compared with individuals with operative repair of an Achilles tendon rupture (ATR).
Twenty patients (ten with HFXs and ten with ATRs) were recruited approximately 3.5 months after operative intervention. All of the participants completed the Lower Extremity Functional Scale and had their foot posture assessed using the Foot Posture Index. Walking velocity was assessed using a pressure mat system, and plantar pressures were measured using an in-shoe sensor. In addition to between-group comparisons, the involved foot was compared with the uninvolved foot for each participant.
There were no differences in age, height, weight, or number of days since surgery between the two groups. The HFX group had lower Lower Extremity Functional Scale scores, slower walking velocities, and different forefoot loading patterns compared with the ATR group. The involved limb of both groups was less pronated.
The results indicate that individuals with an HFX spend more time on their involved limb and walk slower than those with an ATR. Plantar pressures in the HFX group were higher in the lateral forefoot and lower in the medial forefoot and in the ATR group were symmetrically lower in the forefoot.