Clinical and radiographic features of operatively treated stiff clubfeet after skeletal maturity: etiology of the deformities and how to prevent them

Foot Ankle Int. 2006 Jan;27(1):29-37. doi: 10.1177/107110070602700106.


Background: Residual deformities of operatively treated severe clubfeet evaluated radiographically have been rarely studied in detail in adults.

Methods: Twenty-five operatively treated stiff clubfeet were analyzed at a mean age of 21 years and 6 months. The clinical evaluation used the Laaveg and Ponseti scale for clubfeet. Radiographic assessment was done with weightbearing and dynamic views.

Results: Clinical evaluation was globally good except for motion (poor). Radiographic assessment showed residual abnormalities in all feet. The distal tibial epiphysis showed slanting of its posterior part in seven feet (28%) and notching of its anterior lip in 13 (52%). Talar length, calcaneal length, and talar trochlear height were significantly smaller in clubfeet compared to normal feet. Undercorrection of hindfoot varus, was found in 19 feet (76%) but was well tolerated. Navicular wedging was present in seven (28%), and cavus deformity was found in seven (28%). Dorsal bunion, hallux varus, and skewfoot were found in four (16%), two (8%), and three (12%), respectively. The dynamic views demonstrated a significant decrease in the foot and ankle mobility with compensation mechanisms such as anterior talar incongruence or midfoot hypermobility.

Conclusion: Severe clubfeet never become normal at adult age either clinically or radiographically. Multiple radiographic deformities exist. Their etiology and possible prevention are discussed. Despite the numerous abnormalities, clinical results were good at skeletal maturity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clubfoot / diagnostic imaging
  • Clubfoot / etiology
  • Clubfoot / prevention & control
  • Clubfoot / surgery*
  • Female
  • Foot Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Foot Bones / surgery
  • Foot Deformities, Congenital / diagnostic imaging
  • Foot Deformities, Congenital / prevention & control
  • Foot Deformities, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Radiography