Weight-bearing CT Scans in Foot and Ankle Surgery

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2020 Jul 15;28(14):e595-e603. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-19-00700.


Weight-bearing CT (WBCT) scans of the foot and ankle have improved the understanding of deformities that are not easily identified on radiographs and are increasingly being used by orthopaedic surgeons for diagnostic and preoperative planning purposes. In contrast to standard CT scans, WBCT scans better demonstrate the true orientation of the bones and joints during loading. They have been especially useful in investigating the alignment of complex pathologies such as adult-acquired flatfoot deformity in which patients have been found to have a more valgus subtalar joint alignment than in a normal cohort and high rates of subfibular impingement. Studies using WBCT scans have also provided new insight into more common lower extremity conditions such as hallux valgus, ankle fractures, and lateral ankle instability. WBCT scans have allowed researchers to investigate pronation of the first metatarsal in patients with hallux valgus compared with normal feet, and patients with lateral ankle instability have been found to have more heel varus than healthy control subjects. Understanding the application of WBCT scans to clinical practice is becoming more important as surgeons strive for improved outcomes in the treatment of complicated foot and ankle disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Ankle / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ankle / physiopathology*
  • Ankle / surgery
  • Ankle Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Ankle Fractures / physiopathology
  • Ankle Fractures / surgery
  • Ankle Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology
  • Ankle Joint / surgery
  • Flatfoot / diagnostic imaging*
  • Flatfoot / physiopathology*
  • Flatfoot / surgery
  • Foot / diagnostic imaging*
  • Foot / physiopathology*
  • Foot / surgery
  • Hallux Valgus / diagnostic imaging
  • Hallux Valgus / physiopathology
  • Hallux Valgus / surgery
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Joint Instability / surgery
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Weight-Bearing*