Medial talar resection: how much remains stable?

Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg. 2022 Oct;48(5):3961-3967. doi: 10.1007/s00068-022-01915-0. Epub 2022 Feb 23.


Purpose: Pathologies of the medial talus (e.g., fractures, tarsal coalitions) can lead to symptomatic problems such as pain and nonunion. Bony resection may be a good solution for both. It is unclear how much of the medial talus can be taken before the subtalar joint becomes unstable. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect a limited resection of the medial talar facet and the anteromedial portion of the posterior talar facet has on subtalar stability.

Methods: Eight fresh-frozen human cadaveric lower limbs were mounted in a frame for simulated weight-bearing. Computed tomography scans were obtained under 700 N single-legged stance loading, with the foot in neutral, 15° inversion, and 15° eversion positions. A sequential resection of 10, 20, and 30% of the medial facet and the anteromedial portion of the posterior talar facet to the calcaneus, based on the intact talus width, was performed. Measurements of subtalar vertical angulation, talar subluxation, coronal posterior facet angle and talocalcaneal (Kite) angle in the anteroposterior and lateral view were performed.

Results: Gross clinical instability was not observed in any of the specimens. No significant differences were detected in the measurements between the resected and intact states (P ≥ 0.10) as well as among the resected states (P ≥ 0.11).

Conclusion: In a biomechanical setting, resecting up to 30% of the medial facet and anteromedial portion of the posterior facet based on the intact talus width-does not result in any measurable instability of the subtalar joint in presence of intact ligamentous structures.

Level of evidence: V.

Keywords: medial talar facet resection; subtalar instability; talocalcaneal coalition; talus fracture; weight-bearing.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations*
  • Pain
  • Subtalar Joint* / diagnostic imaging
  • Subtalar Joint* / surgery
  • Talus* / diagnostic imaging
  • Talus* / surgery
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Weight-Bearing