The surgical treatment of children with congenital convex foot (vertical talus): evaluation of midtarsal surgical release and open reduction

Bone Joint J. 2014 Jun;96-B(6):837-44. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.96B6.32313.


In this study we evaluated the results of midtarsal release and open reduction for the treatment of children with convex congenital foot (CCF) (vertical talus) and compared them with the published results of peritalar release. Between 1977 and 2009, a total of 22 children (31 feet) underwent this procedure. In 15 children (48%) the CCF was isolated and in the remainder it was not (seven with arthrogryposis, two with spinal dysraphism, one with a polymalformative syndrome and six with an undefined neurological disorder). Pre-operatively, the mean tibiotalar angle was 150.2° (106° to 175°) and the mean calcaneal pitch angle was -19.3° (-72° to 4°). The procedure included talonavicular and calcaneocuboid joint capsulotomies, lengthening of tendons of tibialis anterior and the extensors of the toes, allowing reduction of the midtarsal joints. Lengthening of the Achilles tendon was necessary in 23 feet (74%). The mean follow-up was 11 years (2 to 21). The results, as assessed by the Adelaar score, were good in 24 feet (77.4%), fair in six (19.3%) and poor in one foot (3.3%), with no difference between those with isolated CCF and those without. The mean American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society midfoot score was 89.9 (54 to 100) and 77.8 (36 to 93) for those with isolated CCF and those without, respectively. At the final follow-up, the mean tibiotalar (120°; 90 to 152) and calcaneal pitch angles (4°; -13 to 22) had improved significantly (p < 0.0001). Dislocation of the talonavicular and calcaneocuboid joints was completely reduced in 22 (70.9%) and 29 (93.6%) of feet, respectively. Three children (five feet) underwent further surgery at a mean of 8.5 years post-operatively, three with pes planovalgus and two in whom the deformity had been undercorrected. No child developed avascular necrosis of the talus. Midtarsal joint release and open reduction is a satisfactory procedure, which may provide better results than peritalar release. Complications include the development of pes planovalgus and persistent dorsal subluxation of the talonavicular joint.

Keywords: Congenital; Convex; Foot; Midtarsal; Release.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Arthrodesis / instrumentation
  • Arthrodesis / methods*
  • Bone Wires
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Flatfoot
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foot Deformities, Congenital / diagnostic imaging*
  • Foot Deformities, Congenital / rehabilitation
  • Foot Deformities, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Joint Capsule / surgery
  • Male
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Radiography
  • Recovery of Function
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • Tarsal Joints / abnormalities
  • Tarsal Joints / diagnostic imaging
  • Tarsal Joints / surgery*
  • Tenotomy / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome