Isolated medial column stabilization improves alignment in adult-acquired flatfoot

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2005 Jun:(435):197-202. doi: 10.1097/01.blo.0000157658.17056.46.


In some patients with painful flatfoot, realignment and arthrodesis of the medial naviculocuneiform and first tarsometatarsal joints can be done to correct alignment and relieve symptoms. The primary purpose of this radiographic study was to assess the ability of isolated medial column arthrodesis to improve hindfoot alignment. We also assessed the ability of the procedure to correct radiographic parameters of overall foot structure in acquired flatfoot. Preoperative and postoperative radiographs of 19 patients who had naviculocuneiform and/or tarsometatarsal realignment and arthrodesis for adult-acquired flatfoot were examined by two reviewers. All parameters improved, with the lateral talometatarsal angle approaching normal. A decrease in talonavicular subluxation in the axial plane suggests passive improvement in hindfoot position without direct manipulation of any hindfoot bones or joints. These observations provide evidence for a link between stability of the midfoot and alignment of the hindfoot. In carefully selected patients, medial column realignment may restore normal anatomy without fusing essential joints. Modern clinical outcome studies are the next step in the objective evaluation of this procedure.

Level of evidence: Therapeutic study, Level IV (case series-no, or historical, control group) See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arthrodesis / methods*
  • Bone Screws
  • Flatfoot / diagnostic imaging
  • Flatfoot / surgery*
  • Foot Deformities, Acquired / diagnostic imaging
  • Foot Deformities, Acquired / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Weight-Bearing