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Anterior tarsectomy long-term results in adult pes cavus.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Anterior tarsectomy for pes cavus in adults is designed to relieve pain and correct the deformity. The present study reports radiological and clinical results with anterior tarsectomy in 39 cases of pes cavus.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study concerned 39 cavus feet in 33 patients (22 males, 11 females; mean age: 31 years, range 16-49 years). Clinical outcome was assessed in terms of pain, function and motion, using the AOFAS classification. Radiological assessment (anteroposterior and lateral stress X-ray, views with Méary superficial wire-marking) measured the Djian angle, talometatarsal alignment, talar slope, calcaneal slope, calcaneal valgus, and osteoarthritis stage in adjacent joints.

RESULTS: Mean follow-up was 9.8 years (range, 1-25). Mean AOFAS score at follow-up was 69.2/100 points (range, 14-100). Pain decreased considerably in 75% of cases, and 68% of patients recovered normal activity. The foot was aligned correctly in 67% of cases. At last follow-up, pes cavus remained undercorrected in 80% of feet, but mean Djian angle had improved from 100 degrees to 111.3 degrees. Calcaneal valgus improved from 30.8 degrees to 24.8 degrees and the podoscopic footprint was normal in 51% of feet. In 74% of feet, adjacent joints presented progressive osteoarthritic degeneration. Subjectively, 70% of patients were very satisfied or satisfied with minor reservations. Objective outcome was excellent or good in 66% of feet.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Outcome in terms of function, motion, complications and satisfaction was good, although pain relief results were poor. Anterior tarsectomy is able to correct initial pes cavus deformity and compensate anomalies of the hindfoot, but its correction capacity is limited, and its efficacy in case of clawfoot is poor. Anterior tarsectomy spares the adjacent Chopart complex and Lisfranc joints while inducing hypermobility, and leads to arthritis in 74% of cases. Better results are obtained in cases of reestablishment of the Méary-Tomeno line and of hindfoot valgus, as well as in cases of correction of equinus and clawfoot deformities. Worse results are observed in case of neurological evolutive disease or insufficient correction of the preceding deformities.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV. Therapeutic Study.

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