An Innovative Anchoring Technique for Anterior Transfer of the Tibialis Posterior Tendon

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Abstract

Favorable results have been reported for tibialis posterior tendon transfers, which can effectively restore the dorsiflexion of the ankle and normal heel-to-toe gait. However, the commonly used methods for anchoring the transplanted tendon have some drawbacks. Therefore, we developed a new tendon-anchoring method to improve fixation of the transferred tendon and reduce the related complications. The new method entails tying the anchoring suture to the navicular bone instead of the button on the plantar foot to avoid wound complications. It requires no additional skin incisions or special equipment. We retrospectively evaluated 24 feet of 19 pediatric patients (13 [68.4%] females and 6 [31.6%] males) who had undergone anterior transfer of the tibialis posterior tendon with our new method from 2000 to 2013. All patients were clinically followed up. At the final follow-up visit, they were evaluated while standing and walking, and the range of motion of the foot was evaluated. The mean age at surgery was 7.8 (range 2 to 16) years. At the longest follow-up point, all the patients exhibited improved gait, except for 1 patient who required a secondary procedure. All the transferred tibialis posterior tendons could be palpated with certainty during active dorsiflexion or withdrawal of the foot. No tendon displacements, wound infections, or postoperative complications were observed. Fixation of a transferred tibialis posterior tendon by tying the suture to the navicular bone is simple and reliable. This technique can efficiently prevent the plantar ulcers that can develop with the traditional pull-out button method and provides a solution when appropriate-size bioabsorbable interference screws are unavailable.

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