Effect of Extra-osseous Talotarsal Stabilization on Posterior Tibial Nerve Strain in Hyperpronating Feet: A Cadaveric Evaluation

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Excessive abnormal strain or tension on the posterior tibial nerve in feet exhibiting talotarsal instability has been considered one of the possible etiologic factors of tarsal tunnel syndrome. The suggested treatment options in such cases include stabilization of the talotarsal joint complex in a corrected position, which might help minimize the abnormal forces placed on the posterior tibial nerve due to over stretching. The primary goal of this study was to quantify strain on the posterior tibial nerve in feet exhibiting hyperpronation caused by talotarsal instability, before and after an extra-osseous talotarsal stabilization (EOTTS) procedure. We hypothesized that the excessive strain placed on the posterior tibial nerve in hyperpronating cadaveric feet would be reduced significantly after intervention using the HyProCure® EOTTS device. Posterior tibial nerve strain was quantified in 9 fresh-frozen cadaver specimens. A miniature differential variable reluctance transducer was used to measure nerve elongation as the foot was moved from its neutral to a maximally pronated position, before and after intervention. The mean elongation of the posterior tibial nerve (with respect to a fixed reference point) decreased by 43% after the EOTTS procedure (i.e., from 5.91 ± 0.91 mm to 3.38 ± 1.20 mm; N = 27). The reduction was statistically significant at p < .001. HyProCure® was effective in stabilizing the talotarsal joint complex, thus reducing the excessive amount of strain placed on the posterior tibial nerve. Clinical implications of this study suggest the use of EOTTS devices in the treatment of tarsal tunnel syndrome.Level of Clinical Evidence: 5

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