Mid-term foot function and pedobarographic analysis of 52 feet after polydactyly resection in childhood

Bone Joint J. 2021 Feb;103-B(2):415-420. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.103B2.BJJ-2020-1341.R2.


Aims: The aims of this study is to report the clinical and radiological outcomes after pre-, central-, and postaxial polydactyly resection in children from a tertiary referral centre.

Methods: All children who underwent resection of a supernumerary toe between 2001 and 2013 were prospectively enrolled and invited for a single re-assessment. Clinical parameters and several dedicated outcome scores (visual analogue scale (VAS), Paediatric Outcomes Data Collection Instrument (PODCI), Activities Scale for Kids (ASK), and American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society Score (AOFAS)) were obtained, as were radiographs of the operated and non-operated feet along with pedobarographs.

Results: In all, 39 children (52 feet) with a mean follow-up of 7.2 years (3.1 to 13.0) were included in the study. Resection of a duplicated great toe was performed in ten children, central polydactyly in four, and postaxial polydactyly in 26. The mean postoperative VAS (0.7; 0 to 7), ASK (93.7; 64.2 to 100), and AOFAS range (85.9 to 89.0) indicated excellent outcomes among this cohort and the PODCI global functioning scale (95.7; 75.5 to 100) was satisfactory. No significant differences were found regarding outcomes of pre- versus postaxial patients, nor radiological toe alignment between the operated and non-operated sides. Minor complications were observed in six children (15%). There were seven surgical revisions (18%), six of whom were in preaxial patients. In both groups, below the operation area, a reduced mean and maximum force was observed. Changes in the hindfoot region were detected based on the prolonged contact time and reduced force in the preaxial group.

Conclusion: Excellent mid-term results can be expected after foot polydactyly resection in childhood. However, parents and those who care for these children need to be counselled regarding the higher risk of subsequent revision surgery in the preaxial patients. Also, within the study period, the plantar pressure distribution below the operated part of the foot did not return to completely normal. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2021;103-B(2):415-420.

Keywords: Duplicated toe; Hallux varus; Pedobarography; Plantar pressure; Polydactyly.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Foot / physiopathology*
  • Foot / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Orthopedic Procedures*
  • Polydactyly / diagnosis
  • Polydactyly / physiopathology*
  • Polydactyly / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome