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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Treatment of Congenital Vertical Talus: Comparison of Minimally Invasive and Extensive Soft-Tissue Release Procedures at Minimum Five-Year Follow-up

Justin S Yang, Matthew B Dobbs
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. American Volume 2015 August 19, 97 (16): 1354-65
26290087

BACKGROUND: The most common historical treatment method for congenital vertical talus is extensive soft-tissue release surgery. A minimally invasive treatment approach that relies primarily on serial cast correction was introduced almost ten years ago, with promising early results. The purpose of this study was to assess the long-term outcome of patients with congenital vertical talus managed with the minimally invasive technique and compare them with a cohort treated with extensive soft-tissue release surgery.

METHODS: The records of twenty-seven consecutive patients with vertical talus (forty-two feet) were retrospectively reviewed at a mean of seven years (range, five to 11.3 years) after initial correction was achieved. The minimally invasive method was used to treat sixteen patients (twenty-four feet), and extensive soft-tissue release surgery was used to treat eleven patients (eighteen feet). Patient demographics, ankle range of motion, the PODCI (Pediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument) questionnaire, and radiographic measurements were analyzed.

RESULTS: At the latest follow-up, the mean range of motion of patients treated with the minimally invasive method was 42.4° compared with 12.7° for patients treated with extensive surgery (p < 0.0001). The PODCI normative pain and global function scores were superior in the minimally invasive treatment group compared with the extensive soft-tissue release group. Greater correction of hindfoot valgus (anteroposterior talar axis-first metatarsal base angle) was achieved in the minimally invasive treatment group compared with the extensive surgery group (40.1° versus 27.9°, p = 0.03), although all other radiographic values were similar between the two groups (p > 0.1 for all). Subgroup analysis of patients with isolated vertical talus also showed superior range of motion and PODCI normative global function scores in the minimally invasive group.

CONCLUSIONS: The minimally invasive treatment method for vertical talus resulted in better long-term ankle range of motion and pain scores compared with extensive soft-tissue release surgery. Longer-term studies are necessary to determine whether the improved outcomes are maintained into adulthood and whether the superior outcome is related to reduced scarring.

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