Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: The Journal of foot and ankle surgery : official publication of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons


The standard approach to reconstruction after resection of a diffuse-type tenosynovial giant cell tumor is a local patch with free flaps. However, in cases in which the Achilles tendon involvement is extensive, and the entire tendon must be removed, an autologous flap graft might not be adequate to allow a return to function. We report a case of a 52-year-old female patient who developed bilateral tumors of the Achilles tendon, with a 10-year duration. By the time, she sought medical help, both Achilles tendons required removal. We chose to use Achilles tendon allografts to replace the Achilles tendons. Postoperatively, the patient did well. The allograft shortened the recovery time, and the patient regained full ankle range of motion.

Concepts: Human anatomy, Tendon, Achilles tendon, Tendons, Achilles' heel, Achilles tendon rupture


An adult with ulcerative colitis and diabetes presented with a painful, swollen, edematous left foot. Diagnostic images and laboratory tests were inconclusive. Antibiotics were started immediately but aggravated his symptoms, and the laboratory results worsened. His foot was debrided twice per protocol for treating diabetic foot ulcers or cellulitis. After debridement, his condition worsened rapidly. Pyoderma gangrenosum was correctly diagnosed on the basis of massive neutrophilic infiltration detected in the biopsy tissue and because the lesion was well-defined and colored deep red to violet, unlike the bullosis diabeticorum blisters observed in the diabetic foot. His foot improved with systemic corticosteroids and topical wound care, and a skin defect was treated with a skin graft. After 9 months, his foot was well healed. Pyoderma gangrenosum can be diagnosed by careful examination and must be distinguished from an ulcerated diabetic foot lesion.

Concepts: Insulin resistance, Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, Corticosteroid, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Cushing's syndrome, Pyoderma gangrenosum, Diabetic foot


Casting is an important part of the postoperative treatment in foot and ankle surgery. Applying a split plaster cast allows for swelling while maintaining surgical correction and alignment. Resecting approximately a 1-in. portion of the plaster cast dorsally and anteriorly maintains stable structural support of the cast while relieving the pressure caused by swelling. We describe a technique for applying a plaster below the knee cast, with a univalve dorsal split, to provide support, while allowing for edema and access to anterior postoperative dressings.

Concepts: Surgery, Foot, Casting, Cast, Sculpture techniques, Foot and ankle surgery


Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain in the U.S. Army soldier, resulting in a significant loss of man hours. Given the heavy operations tempo of the U.S. military, successful treatment options need to be considered and used as quickly as possible. Plantar fasciitis can be successfully treated in up to 90% of patients using conservative measures. Operative intervention might need to be considered for those in whom conservative measures have failed. The present report is a review of 105 consecutive uniport endoscopic plantar fascial release procedures performed by the principal investigator during a 9-year period. The following data were collected and analyzed: gender, age, weight, height, body mass index, medical treatment facility, procedure laterality, preoperative pain levels, postoperative pain levels at 3 months, first ambulatory day in the controlled ankle motion boot, return to activity as tolerated, and complications. Three major points were of interest: evidence of improvement in chronic plantar fasciitis when treated with uniport endoscopic procedures; the patient attributes associated with self-reported pain levels 90 days postoperatively; and the patient attributes associated with the average time until patients were able to return to activities as tolerated in a controlled ankle motion boot. It was noted that 44.5% of those with a body mass index of 29.80 kg/m(2) or greater reported a postoperative pain level of 0; and 96.3% of those with a body mass index of 25.53 kg/m(2) or less reported postoperative pain levels of 0. The analyzed data were used to characterize the clinical outcomes of the procedure, identify changes in outcome with surgeon experience, and identify whether certain patient subgroups have better outcomes, allowing surgeons to identify which patient might be the best candidates for an endoscopic release procedure.

Concepts: Patient, Mass, Physician, Body mass index, Patience, Outcome, United States Army, Plantar fasciitis


Kirschner wire (K-wire) fixation across the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) is commonly used in hammertoe repair surgery. The purpose of the present study was twofold: (1) to determine where the K-wire penetrates the metatarsal articular surface to achieve a rectus digit; and (2) to quantify the percentage of cartilage disruption to better understand the consequences of K-wire transfixation of the MTPJ. Arthrodesis was conducted on the second, third, and fourth proximal interphalangeal joints of 10 below-the-knee cadaver specimens, using a 1.6-mm K-wire. Digital alignment was confirmed with simulated weightbearing intraoperatively and radiographically. The K-wire was removed, and the MTPJ was dissected until the metatarsal head was fully exposed. The penetration point was plotted on a quadrant system with deviation noted from the epicenter. Center was defined as the point equidistant from the medial-to-lateral and superior-to-inferior edges on the distal surface of the metatarsal head, excluding the plantar condyles. Statistically significantly deviations were found in the K-wire placement from the center (35.9% ± 17.5%, p < .001), medial-to-lateral width (22.2% ± 19.2%, p < .001), and dorsal-to-plantar height (15.8% ± 25.0%, p = .002). Relative to the center, the K-wire was superior in 22 (79%), inferior in 6 (21%), medial in 22 (79%), and lateral in 6 (21%) of the cadaveric MTPJs. The mean percentage of disruption of the articular cartilage was 1.8% ± .4% and was similar for the second, third, and fourth MTPJs (p = .13) and for the left and right feet (p = .75). This information could be used to guide surgeons when they transfixate the MTPJ during hammertoe correction and might contribute to preservation of the articular cartilage.

Concepts: Bone, Skeletal system, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Joint, Joints, Length, Kirschner wire


The surgical correction of hammer digits offers a variety of surgical treatments ranging from arthroplasty to arthrodesis, with many options for fixation. In the present study, we compared 2 buried implants for arthrodesis of lesser digit deformities: a Smart Toe(®) implant and a buried Kirschner wire. Both implants were placed in a prepared interphalangeal joint, did not violate other digital or metatarsal joints, and were not exposed percutaneously. A retrospective comparative study was performed of 117 digits with either a Smart Toe(®) implant or a buried Kirschner wire, performed from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2010. Of the 117 digits, 31 were excluded because of a lack of 90-day radiographic follow-up. The average follow-up was 94 to 1130 days. The average patient age was 61.47 (range 43 to 84) years. Of the 86 included digits, 48 were left digits and 38 were right. Of the digits corrected, 54 were second digits, 24 were third digits and 8 were fourth digits. Fifty-eight Smart Toe(®) implants were found (15 with 19-mm straight; 2 with 19-mm angulated; 34 with 16-mm straight; and 7 with 16-mm angulated). Twenty-eight buried Kirschner wires were evaluated. No statistically significant difference was found between the Smart Toe(®) implants and the buried Kirschner wires, including the rate of malunion, nonunion, fracture of internal fixation, and the need for revision surgery. Of the 86 implants, 87.9% of the Smart Toe(®) implants and 85.7% of the buried Kirschner wires were in good position (0° to 10° of transverse angulation on radiographs). Osseous union was achieved in 68.9% of Smart Toe(®) implants and 82.1% of buried Kirschner wires. Fracture of internal fixation occurred in 12 of the Smart Toe(®) implants (20.7%) and 2 of the buried Kirschner wires (7.1%). Most of the fractured internal fixation and malunions or nonunions were asymptomatic, leading to revision surgery in only 8.6% of the Smart Toe(®) implants and 10.7% of the buried Kirschner wires. Both the Smart Toe(®) implant and the buried Kirschner wire offer a viable choice for internal fixation of an arthrodesis of the digit compared with other studies using other techniques.

Concepts: Bone, Fracture, Surgery, Statistical significance, Implants, Orthopedic surgery, Joints, Kirschner wire


Flexible flatfoot is the most prevalent condition seen in pediatric orthopedic clinics. It is characterized by an absence of the medial arch and a valgus position of the calcaneus. The purpose of the present study was to report on the results obtained in children treated using the calcaneo-stop procedure. A total of 410 flatfeet in 242 consecutive patients were treated using the calcaneo-stop procedure from January 1999 to March 2010 (10 years, 3 months) and were followed up to February 2012. The mean age at surgery was 11 (range 7 to 14) years, and the mean follow-up duration was 88 (range 14 to 157) months. A clinical evaluation, podoscopic examination, and radiologic assessment were performed in the participating patients preoperatively and at 6 months postoperatively. Of the 242 patients, 168 (69.42%) underwent bilateral foot surgery and 74 (30.58%) unilateral intervention, involving 33 right (44.6%) and 41 left (55.4%) feet. At follow-up, the outcome was satisfactory in 397 feet (96.83%); heel valgus was observed in only 12 feet (2.92%), and the footprint was normalized in 328 feet (80%). The calcaneo-stop procedure is a simple, reliable, and minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of pediatric flexible flatfoot. It allows alignment of the talus and calcaneus, restoring a proper foot arch.

Concepts: Foot, Minimally invasive, Invasive, Tarsus, Calcaneus, Arches of the foot, Flat feet, Unilateralism


The present multicenter, prospective study evaluated the subjective outcomes in patients after extraosseous talotarsal stabilization using the HyProCure(®) stent as a standalone procedure for the treatment of recurrent and/or partial talotarsal joint dislocation (RTTD) in a population of pediatric and adult patients. RTTD has been cited as a possible etiology for a number of foot ailments and might contribute to the development of pathologic features localized more proximally in the weightbearing musculoskeletal chain. Correction of RTTD might, therefore, lead to the reduction of pathologic features associated with this deformity. A total of 46 feet in 35 patients were included in the present investigation. Subjective evaluation used the Maryland Foot Score assessment, which was obtained preoperatively and 1, 2, and 3 weeks, 1, 2, 3, and 6 months, and 1 year postoperatively. The mean overall scores improved from a preoperative value of 69.53 ± 19.56 to a postoperative value of 89.17 ± 14.41 at the 1-year follow-up. Foot pain decreased by 36.97%, foot functional activities improved by 14.39%, and foot appearance improved by 29.49%. The greatest magnitude of improvement occurred 4 weeks postoperatively, with gradual improvement continuing through to the 1-year follow-up. Implants were removed from 2 patients (2 feet, 4.35%). No unresolved complications were observed. The positive subjective outcomes resulting from the extraosseous talotarsal stabilization procedure suggest that the intervention employing the device we have described alleviates pain and improves foot function and appearance in patients with RTTD.

Concepts: Present, Better, Improve, Foot, Joint dislocation, Case series, Imperial units


Infection is a major complication after open reconstruction of Achilles tendon ruptures. We report on the use of vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) therapy in the treatment of late deep infections after open Achilles tendon reconstruction. Six patients (5 males [83.33%], 1 female [16.67%]; mean age, 52.8 [range 37 to 66] years) were been treated using an identical protocol. Surgical management consisted of debridement, lavage, and necrectomy of infected tendon parts. The VAC therapy was used for local wound preconditioning and infection management. A continuous negative pressure of 125 mm Hg was applied on each wound. For final wound closure, a split-thickness skin graft was performed. The skin graft healing process was also supported by VAC therapy during the first 5 days. The VAC dressings were changed a mean average of 3 (range 1 to 4) times until split-thickness skin grafting could be performed. The mean total duration of the VAC therapy was 13.6 ± 5.9 days. The mean hospital stay was 31.2 ± 15.9 days. No complications with regard to bleeding, seroma, or hematoma formation beneath the skin graft were observed. At a mean follow-up duration of 29.9 (range 4 to 65) months, no re-infection or infection persistence was observed. The VAC device seems to be a valuable tool in the treatment of infected tendons. The generalization of these conclusions should await the results of future studies with larger patient series.

Concepts: Infection, Arithmetic mean, Tendon, Achilles tendon, Chronic wound, Tendinosis, Negative pressure wound therapy, Achilles tendon rupture


Rigid equinovarus foot is a challenging problem. Talectomy has been advocated as a salvage procedure to achieve a plantigrade painless foot in the treatment of rigid equinovarus deformity. The present prospective observational study evaluated the effectiveness of talectomy in the treatment of Dimeglio grade IV rigid equinovarus feet. Nineteen feet in 13 patients were treated by talectomy from September 2001 through January 2012 (10-year, 2-month period). Of the 13 patients, 9 (69.23%) had a foot deformity due to arthrogryposis multiplex congenita and 1 (7.69%) each due to sacral agenesis, spastic cerebral palsy, neglected congenital talipes equinovarus, and post-traumatic contracture. Of the 13 patients, 9 (69.23%) were male and 4 (30.77%) were female. Their mean age was 7.7 (range 3 to 26) years. The mean follow-up duration was 6.4 (range 2 to 11) years. Along with talectomy, excision of the navicular was performed in 8 feet (42.11%), calcaneal osteotomy with a laterally based wedge in 8 (42.11%), and calcaneocuboid fusion in 3 feet (15.79%). Postoperatively, all the feet improved to Dimeglio grade II and were painless, and 16 feet (84.22%) were plantigrade; 1 foot (5.26%) had residual equinus resulting from incomplete removal of the talus and 2 (10.53%) had residual varus. Also, 3 feet (15.79%) had forefoot adduction (2 residual and 1 recurrent) that required a second surgery to correct the deformity. From our experience, talectomy is an effective procedure for correction of severe rigid equinovarus feet, provided that the talus is completely removed and the calcaneus is positioned correctly in the ankle mortise.

Concepts: Observational study, Foot, Cerebral palsy, Tarsus, Calcaneus, Club foot, Arthrogryposis, Congenital disorders of musculoskeletal system