Aim: Clubfoot is rarely associated with tibial or fibular hemimelia. Treatment is complex and in most of the cases extensive surgery is required. At present experience with Ponseti casting is limited. We describe casting and surgical treatment of 10 clubfeet associated with tibial and fibular hemimelia.
Material and method: Between 1.1.2004 and 31.12.2009 398 clubfeet were treated with casting in our institution. In the same period 10 clubfeet were associated with fibular or tibial hemimelia. Treatment started in 9 clubfeet with Ponseti manipulation and casting. We used the classification of Weber for tibial hemimelia and the Kalamchi-Achterman classification and Paley classification for fibular hemimelia. Data of all patients were prospectively documented and the result of the foot deformity was evaluated before a first lengthening procedure. Documentation included patient data, associated foot pathologies, surgical procedures, functional results. Functional results were evaluated before the first lengthening procedure started.
Results: Three patients had tibial hemimelia, two Weber type 1, one Weber type 2, one Weber type 3. five patients had fibular hemimelia, Paley type IV or Kalamchi-Achterman Type IA. One child had bilateral fibular hemimelia. The prospective leg length discrepancy ranged from 3.2 cm to 14 cm. Four feet had initially a successful treatment with casting. In a type 2 according to Weber we performed an ankle reconstruction procedure to correct tibiofibular diastases. Four feet underwent PMR. We had four relapses. Two equinus relapses were treated with a posterior release. Two severe relapses were finally corrected with resection of the coalition and midfoot osteotomies. In a Weber type 3 case a complex reconstruction was performed using an Ilisarov and a TSF frame. Functional results showed in a mean follow-up of 42.2 months (24-72 months) a dorsiflexion between 5 and 20° (Ø 7.7°) and a plantarflexion between 10 and 40° (Ø 26.1°).
Conclusion: Treatment of clubfoot associated with tibial or fibular hemimelia with the Ponseti technique is limited because of complex hindfoot deformities including tarsal coalitions. Nevertheless treatment after birth starts with casting. Only mild cases of hemimelia without coalition can be corrected with the Ponseti technique. In a case of tibiofibular diastasis successful casting is possible, but extensive surgery is often necessary. In more severe cases we do not recommend casting. In these cases surgical treatment, including posteromedial release, osteotomies for the hindfoot, resection of coalitions or complex osteotomies with Ilisarov or TSF frame is the treatment of choice.
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.