Functional deficits observed at long-term follow-up in surgically released clubfeet have led to the adoption of a nonoperative approach. Gait results reported at age 5 years found ankle motion was limited in clubfeet treated by posteromedial release (PMR), compared with those that required posterior release (PR) or remained nonoperative. The purpose of this study was to assess plantar pressures in clubfeet that required surgical correction by 5 years of age.
Pedobarograph data were collected at age 5 years on patients with clubfeet that underwent surgical correction due to residual deformity or recurrence. Plantar pressures were assessed by subdividing the foot into the medial/lateral hindfoot, midfoot, and forefoot regions. Variables included maximum force, contact area%, contact time% (CT%), the hindfoot-forefoot angle, and displacement of the center of pressure line. Surgical feet were divided into those that underwent an isolated PR versus PMR. A group of 72 clubfeet that remained nonoperative were matched by initial severity and used for comparison.
Pedobarograph data from 53 patients (72 clubfeet; 25 PR and 47 PMR) showed minimal differences between the PR and PMR feet. Compared with the nonoperative group, both surgical groups had increased CT% in the medial hindfoot and medial midfoot regions. An increase in lateral hindfoot CT% was observed in the PMR group. In addition, CT% in the first metatarsal region in the PMR group was reduced compared with the nonoperative group. Lateralization is present across both surgical groups in the center of pressure line and hindfoot-forefoot angle.
While there were minimal differences between surgical groups, patients who underwent PR exhibited pressure variables that were more comparable to the nonoperative group while the PMR group had greater deviations.
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