Author(s): Vlachou M, Dimitriadis D
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Overactivity of anterior and/or posterior tibial tendon may be a causative factor of spastic varus foot deformity. The prevalence of their dysfunction has been reported with not well defined results. Although gait analysis and dynamic electromyography provide useful information for the assessment of the patients, they are not available in every hospital. The purpose of the current study is to identify the causative muscle producing the deformity and apply the most suitable technique for its correction. METHODS: We retrospectively evaluated 48 consecutive ambulant patients (52 feet) with spastic paralysis due to cerebral palsy. The average age at the time of the operation was 12,4 yrs (9-18) and the mean follow-up 7,8 yrs (4-14). Eigtheen feet presented equinus hind foot deformity due to gastrocnemius and soleus shortening. According to the deformity, the feet were divided in two groups (Group I with forefoot and midfoot inversion and Group II with hindfoot varus). The deformities were flexible in all cases in both groups. Split anterior tibial tendon transfer (SPLATT) was performed in Group I (11 feet), while split posterior tibial tendon transfer (SPOTT) was performed in Group II (38 feet). In 3 feet both procedures were performed. Achilles tendon sliding lengthening (Hoke procedure) was done in 18 feet either preoperatively or concomitantly with the index procedure. RESULTS: The results in Group I, were rated according to Hoffer's clinical criteria as excellent in 8 feet and satisfactory in 3, while in Group II according to Kling's clinical criteria were rated as excellent in 20 feet, good in 14 and poor in 4. The feet with poor results presented residual varus deformity due to intraoperative technical errors. CONCLUSION: Overactivity of the anterior tibial tendon produces inversion most prominent in the forefoot and midfoot and similarly overactivity of the posterior tibial tendon produces hindfoot varus. The deformity can be clinically unidentifiable in some cases when Achilles shortening co-exists producing foot equinus. By identifying the muscle causing the deformity and performing the appropriate technique, very satisfying results were achieved in the majority of our cases. In three feet both muscles contributed to a combined deformity and simultaneous SPLATT and SPOTT were considered necessary. For complex foot deformities where the component of cavus co-exists, supplementary procedures are required along with the index operation to obtain the best result.
This article was published in J Foot Ankle Res
and referenced in International Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation