Is it hazardous or mandatory to release the talocalcaneal interosseous ligament in clubfoot surgery?: a preliminary report

Khamis H El-Deeb, Abdel S Ghoneim, Khaled L El-Adwar, Ali A Khalil
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics 2007, 27 (5): 517-21
Extreme overcorrection and avascular necrosis are recognized complications in clubfoot surgery and are thought to be the result of division of the talocalcaneal interosseous ligament (TCIL). This is a preliminary report of a prospective study of the cases of 46 patients with 66 idiopathic clubfeet treated by means of soft tissue release using a posteromedial approach at a mean age of 9 months. The deformity was very severe in 51 feet and severe in 15. The feet were divided into 2 equal groups (33 feet each). In group A feet, the TCIL was released, whereas in group B, the ligament was left intact. At a mean follow-up period of 28 months, the result was satisfactory (excellent and good) in 96.9% of feet in group A and in 87.9% of feet in group B. When the mean overall clinical and radiological score was investigated, group A graded excellent whereas group B graded good. In feet with satisfactory outcome, group A showed statistically significant improvement of the anteroposterior and lateral talocalcaneal angles, talocalcaneal index, and lateral calcaneus-first metatarsal angles when compared with group B. This was reflected clinically on better hind foot correction with the release of the TCIL, with no evidence of significant overcorrection. Magnetic resonance imaging of the ankle and foot confirmed no evidence of talar avascular necrosis or extreme overcorrection in 40 feet (60.1%), 20 in each group. We conclude that it is advisable to release the TCIL in severe and very severe clubfeet.

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