Reconstruction Operations for Acquired Flatfoot: Biomechanical Evaluation

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

A major limitation of operations commonly performed for acquired flatfoot is inadequate correction of alignment. The authors defined the efficacy of two operations, deltoid ligament reconstruction and flexor digitorum longus tendon transfer, for treatment of posterior tibial tendon dysfunction with flatfoot deformity. Twelve fresh-frozen foot specimens were used. A flatfoot deformity was created, and, to simulate the midstance phase of gait, loads were applied axially to the plantar surface of the foot and to appropriate tendons. Foot position improved substantially after deltoid ligament reconstruction but not after flexor digitorum longus tendon transfer. The average increase in arch height after deltoid ligament reconstruction was 10.3 ± 8.9 mm and after flexor digitorum longus tendon transfer, -0.6± 2.0 mm. Mean arch height after deltoid ligament reconstruction was 2.2 ± 1.7 mm less than intact arch height and, after flexor digitorum longus tendon transfer, 13.2 ± 9.0 mm less than intact arch height. Improvement in metatarsal-talar, calcaneal-talar, and talar-tibial positions was significantly greater after deltoid ligament reconstruction than after flexor digitorum longus tendon transfer. Although the authors do not advocate clinical use, the deltoid ligament reconstruction was more effective than flexor digitorum longus tendon transfer in restoring arch alignment in flatfoot.

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