Correction of clawtoes by the Girdlestone-Taylor flexor-extensor transfer procedure

S G Barbari, K Brevig
Foot & Ankle 1984, 5 (2): 67-73
Several techniques have been suggested for correction of clawtoe deformities in the lateral toes, ranging from multiple arthrodesis of the interphalangeal joints to phalanx resections, partial or total amputation of the impaired toes. An evaluation of the flexor-extensor transfer procedure is the basis of this study. Between 1977 and 1983, 39 feet were operated on in 31 patients, presenting a wide variation in etiology, degree of deformity, and symptoms. Average age at the time of surgery was 57.5 (16 to 80). All of the patients were available for recall and were able to return for an interview and examination. Average length of follow-up was 38 months (range, 10-80 months). The report includes a general discussion of the deformities, description of the operative technique, and the results obtained in our series. Assessment emphasized a subjective report including patient satisfaction, cosmetic result, relief of pain, and objective examination to evaluate the presence of recurrent callosities, range of movement at the metatarsophalangeal joint, and degree of residual passive mobility of the toes. Reduction of metatarsalgia and callosities with improved shape of the toes was achieved in most cases. Our experience indicates that the treatment can be recommended for use in the elderly, too, in appropriate cases. Radical procedures are rarely accepted for cosmetic as well as for functional reasons.

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