The Effect of Percutaneous Flexor Tenotomy on Healing and Prevention of Foot Ulcers in Patients With Claw Deformity of the Toe

Peter Schmitz, Ruben Scheffer, Sophie De Gier, Ruby M Krol, Daphne Van der Veen, Luuk Smeets
Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery 2019, 58 (6): 1134-1137
Claw deformity of the foot is frequently seen in patients with diabetes mellitus. Percutaneous flexor tenotomy is a simple surgical procedure for the treatment of foot ulcers on the distal end of the toe caused by this deformity. This procedure can also be performed to prevent ulcers in claw toes that are at risk of ulceration. The aim of this study is to investigate whether percutaneous flexor tenotomy is an effective surgical method for treatment and prevention of toe ulcers in patients with claw deformity. This retrospective study, with a median follow-up of 13.4 (1 to 66.7) months, included all consecutive patients who underwent percutaneous flexor tenotomy in 2 hospitals between July 2012 and April 2017. In total, 101 feet underwent flexor tenotomy: 84 (83.3%) therapeutic and 17 (16.7%) prophylactic. Of the 84 therapeutic procedures, 95.1% healed, with a median healing time of 27 days. In 11 (13.3%) therapeutic procedures, a reulceration was recorded. In the therapeutic group, 4 (4.8%) infections and 1 (1.2%) amputation of the digit occurred. In the 17 prophylactic procedures, local bleeding was recorded in 1 (5.9%). In the prophylactic group, 2 ulcers occurred. In 77 (76.2%) of all procedures, patients had diabetes mellitus. In conclusion, percutaneous flexor tenotomy is an effective, safe, and minimally invasive procedure for the treatment and prevention of toe ulcers in patients with claw deformity.

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