Clinical outcome of posteromedial versus posteromedial-lateral release for clubfoot

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Although the Ponseti serial casting method is the gold standard for the management of clubfoot, surgical correction remains the best option for resistant cases. Therefore, we compared posteromedial and posteromedial-lateral surgical approaches for the correction of resistant clubfoot. Between 2007 and 2013, 68 patients with idiopathic nonsyndromic resistant clubfoot, who were admitted to our referral institute, were enrolled in our study. The patients were divided into two groups. The patients in group 1 (33 cases of clubfoot) underwent posteromedial release with a single incision and those in group 2 (35 cases of clubfoot) underwent posteromedial-lateral release by two separate incisions. The severity of deformity was classified according to the Dimeglio classification. After the operations, all patients were followed up and surgical results as well as acute and chronic complications were evaluated. The patients were followed up for a mean of 43 months, and at the last follow-up visit, the Dimeglio scores in groups 1 and 2 were 4.8±3.8 and 3.3±2.6, respectively (P=0.04). Outcomes improved in both groups significantly. Although group 2 had more severe deformity, compared with group 1 at the baseline, the final outcome was better in this group. Heel varus and equinus was corrected more appropriately in group 2. Complications such as navicular dorsal subluxation and valgus overcorrection were less common in group 2. In cases of resistant clubfoot, it appears that a posteromedial-lateral approach with two separate incisions not only provides a better correction but is also associated with a lower complication rate in comparison with the single-incision posteromedial approach.

Level of evidence: Level III, therapeutic study.

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