Equivalent Pain Relief With and Without Resection of the Posterior Tibial Tendon in Adult Flatfoot Reconstruction


Transfer of the flexor digitorum longus (FDL) is indicated to compensate for the loss of posterior tibial tendon (PTT) function in the treatment of adult acquired flatfoot deformity (AAFD). The aim of this study was to determine the effect of PTT resection on pain relief following surgical treatment of stage II AAFD. A retrospective review of patients who underwent surgical treatment for stage II AAFD was performed. Patients were divided into two groups based on whether the degenerated PTT was resected or left in situ. A visual analog scale (VAS) score for pain was recorded for each patient preoperatively. Concomitant surgical procedures and the incidence of postoperative pain were also reported for each group. Deformity correction was assessed with standard weight-bearing radiographs. Thirty-four patients with a mean follow-up of 14 months were included in the study. There was no difference in preoperative VAS pain scores, and patients in both groups demonstrated excellent pain relief postoperatively. Five patients in the PTT resection group and one patient in the PTT in situ group reported lateral-sided foot pain postoperatively. Resection of the PTT did not significantly affect postoperative pain relief. Future prospective studies are needed to determine whether resection of the degenerated PTT is necessary at the time of surgery for stage II AAFD. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 23(4):184–188, 2014) Key words: flatfoot, posterior tibial tendon insufficiency, posterior tibial tendon resection, postoperative pain

Constantine A. Demetracopoulos, MD; James K. DeOrio, MD; Mark E. Easley, MD; and James A. Nunley II, MD