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.
Percutaneous Achilles tenotomy is an essential step in the Ponseti treatment of idiopathic clubfoot, with reported complications such as injury to the surrounding neurovascular structures and incomplete division of the Achilles tendon (AT). Knowledge of AT thickness would guide tenotomy blade insertion depth, obviating these related complications. We embarked on this study to ultrasonographically determine AT thickness at its different levels from the calcaneal insertion in children with idiopathic clubfoot.
This prospective comparative study consisted of two groups of children 4 years and younger: a study group of patients with clubfoot requiring tenotomy and a control group. Both groups underwent ultrasonographic evaluation of their AT. The ultrasonographic data collected include AT thickness 1 and 2 cm from the calcaneal insertion of the AT, thickness of the thinnest portion of the tendon, and the distance of this thinnest portion from the calcaneal insertion.
Twenty-seven children with idiopathic clubfoot constituted the study group, and 23 children with no musculoskeletal deformity were enrolled in the control group. Mean ± SD AT thicknesses 1 and 2 cm from the calcaneal insertion in the study group were 2.4 ± 0.7 mm and 2.1 ± 0.7 mm, respectively, and in the control group were 2.5 ± 0.7 mm and 2.3 ± 0.7 mm, respectively. The average thickness of the thinnest portion of the AT along its length was 2 mm at 1.8 cm from the calcaneal insertion in both groups.
Safe and complete percutaneous tenotomy would most likely be achieved when performed 1.8 cm from the calcaneal insertion, where the corresponding average AT thickness of 2 mm would be a guide to determine the insertion depth of the tenotomy blade.
Background: Many authors have highlighted the role of muscle strength imbalance around the ankle in the development of recurrent clubfoot following Ponseti treatment. However, this possible underlying mechanism behind recurrence 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 the Ponseti method.
Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on 20 children (14 boys and six girls; mean age, 7 years; age range, 5–9 years) 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 measured ultrasonographically.
Results: The plantarflexion-to-dorsiflexion ratio was lower on the involved side (P = .001). No significant differences in the strength ratio of inversion to eversion were found (P = .4). No difference was observed in lengths of tibialis anterior and posterior tendons (P = .1), but the Achilles tendon was longer on the involved side (P = .001; P < .01). A significant negative correlation was discovered between involved-to-uninvolved Achilles tendon length ratios and involved-to-uninvolved plantarflexion strength ratios (r = –0.524; P = .02)
Conclusions: Achilles tendon elongation may be a contributor to the muscle imbalance in clubfeet with relapsed forefoot adduction treated by the Ponseti technique.
Achilles tenotomy is performed for the residual equinus deformity in the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment. In the present article, we describe a mini-open Achilles tenotomy technique to prevent complications that could occur during tenotomy. This technique was performed on 15 patients (25 feet) during a 3-year period in our clinic on patients whose equinus deformities could not have been corrected by manipulations. Clear improvement (mean angle, 30°) was observed in equinus in our patients, and we have not seen any complication in this method. We conclude that direct visualizing of the tendon with mini-open incision may reduce the risk of neurovascular injury, especially for surgeons who are not experienced. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 98(5): 414–417, 2008)
Background: Forefoot adduction is the most common residual deformity in the treatment of pediatric clubfoot. Little documentation exists regarding its late occurrence and early detection. A retrospective analysis was conducted to determine the effect of primary posterior medial release for idiopathic clubfoot that had failed to improve with conservative treatment or had presented after a treatment delay and a subsequent forefoot adduction correction with a cuboid-cuneiform osteotomy.
Methods: Radiographic evaluations were conducted of all of the surgical procedures performed at our institution for idiopathic clubfoot during a specified period. Preoperative and postoperative talo–first metatarsal and talocalcaneal angles were measured radiographically. Of 138 patients with clubfoot deformity who met the inclusion criteria, 51 underwent a primary posterior medial release; of these patients, 18 (26 feet) underwent a subsequent cuboid-cuneiform osteotomy.
Results: The average preoperative and postoperative talo–first metatarsal anteroposterior angles for patients who underwent primary posterior medial release were 44.6° and 26.8°, respectively. The mean reduction in forefoot adduction was 17.8° (P < .05). After the osteotomy, the average talo–first metatarsal anteroposterior angle was 16°, with an average reduction of 10.8° (P < .05). Mean follow-up was 61.2 months. The average patient age was 3.2 years.
Conclusions: Eighteen (35%) of 51 patients who underwent a posterior medial release required a subsequent cuboid-cuneiform osteotomy. The average reduction of 10.8° was statistically significant and has also proved to be clinically significant in the overall correction of the deformity. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 97(2): 126–133, 2007)
Background: The Feet for Walking clubfoot project from Australia formally introduced the Ponseti technique in Vietnam in 2004 and is based at the Da Nang Orthopedic and Rehabilitation Centre in central Vietnam.
Methods: We provide an initial overview of the management of infant clubfoot deformity using the nonsurgical Ponseti method.
Results: Early indicators of the outcome of implementing this clubfoot project are largely positive but also require ongoing review. Further analyses of the use of the Ponseti method (or obstacles preventing the same) following training of personnel is underway.
Conclusions: Recent research has improved and refined the technique that must now be both appreciated and incorporated by clinicians. This technique is used across the world in both developed and developing countries and is universally regarded as the best management method for clubfoot deformities. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(4): 306–316, 2009)
In the Ponseti technique, the residual equinus deformity is corrected with percutaneous tenotomy. This experimental study aimed to compare the safety and effectiveness of a large-gauge needle, a corneal knife, and a No. 11 blade in percutaneous achillotomy performed in rats.
Ninety Achilles tendons of 45 Sprague-Dawley rats were analyzed, following division into three study groups. In the study, group I (needle), group II (corneal knife), and group III (No. 11 blade) were compared on the basis of bleeding, incision length, requirement for primary suture, range of motion, and resulting neurovascular injury at day 0. Moreover, the groups were compared in terms of range of motion, macroscopic and microscopic adhesions, and tenocyte morphology at days 21 and 42 postoperatively.
On day 0, one suture was required in group III, whereas in groups I and II, no sutures were required. Postoperative bleeding was greater in group III and similar in groups I and II. Neurovascular injury was not observed in any of the groups. Three incomplete tenotomies were observed in group III and one incomplete tenotomy was observed in group II. Importantly, all tenotomies were complete in group I. In all groups, the range of motion was similar. The macroscopic adhesion score revealed high adhesion in group III (P = .009). According to Tang's criteria, microscopic adhesion was significantly higher on day 21 in group III compared with the other groups (P <0.001). No significant differences were observed in tenocyte morphology based on the Bonar criteria (P = .850).
In the results obtained from this animal study, we observed less bleeding, less adhesion, and less incomplete tenotomy in the large-gauge needle and corneal knife groups compared with the No. 11 blade group during the percutaneous Achilles tenotomy performed in rats.
Background: Tendo Achillis lengthening is performed by means of Z-plasty in the classic treatment of clubfoot. In the Ponseti method for treating clubfoot, Achilles tenotomy is performed percutaneously for residual equine deformity. A randomized study was designed to compare tendon healing after tenotomy versus Z-plasty.
Methods: Thirty-six Sprague-Dawley rats were divided randomly into two groups. On the first day, while the right tendo Achillis of group 1 rats underwent tenotomy, those of group 2 rats underwent Z-plasty. Nine rats from each group were humanely killed on days 21 and 45 postoperatively. The two groups were compared with each other biomechanically and histologically. The Achilles tendons of eight rats in each group were evaluated biomechanically, and the remaining rat in each group underwent histologic evaluation.
Results: Mean ± SD maximum load at rupture of the treated tendons on days 21 and 45 in the tenotomy group was 26.38 ± 7.31 N and 47.16 ± 15.36 N, respectively, and in the Z-plasty group was 27.37 ± 5.20 N and 45.27 ± 9.59 N, respectively. The biomechanical evaluation revealed no significant difference in terms of breaking forces between the two groups. The difference between breaking forces on days 21 and 45 was statistically significant for both groups.
Conclusions: Tendons in the tenotomy group healed as well as those in the Z-plasty group, and Achilles tenotomy in the rat was similar to Z-plasty for Achilles tendon lengthening. Human correlation may or may not exist, but this study suggests that it should be considered and investigated. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(3): 216–222, 2009)
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)