Original Research| Volume 50, ISSUE 2, P182-189, March 2011

Beaming the Columns for Charcot Diabetic Foot Reconstruction: A Retrospective Analysis

Published:January 25, 2011DOI:


      This study explored the concept of “beaming” the medial and lateral longitudinal columns as a variation of the current technique for hindfoot and Lisfranc Charcot reconstruction. We reviewed radiographic changes and outcomes for patients who underwent Charcot foot reconstruction at our facility over the 14-year period from January 1994 to January 2008. Beaming was performed on 71 Charcot foot deformities in 70 patients, 22 (31%) of which displayed an isolated hindfoot deformity, 20 (28%) an isolated Lisfranc deformity, and 29 (41%) with a combination of hindfoot and Lisfranc deformities. The average radiographic follow up was 31.00 ± 22.97 months. Group 1 consisted of reconstructions that involved only medial and lateral column beams and showed significant improvements in radiographic alignment between the preoperative and postoperative measurements, including Meary’s angle (P < .001), calcaneal inclination angle (P = .004), tarsometatarsal angle (P = .002), talonavicular angle (P = .035), and the calcaneocuboid angle (P = .006). Group 2, which consisted of reconstructions that involved medial and lateral column beams and either a subtalar arthroereisis (n = 18) or a subtalar joint fusion (n = 10), also showed significant improvements, including Meary’s angle (P < .001), tarsometatarsal angle (P < .001), talonavicular angle (P = .002), and the calcaneocuboid angle (P < .001), although calcaneal inclination did not statistically significantly change (P = .054). In both groups, the surgical intervention maintained the correction and was useful for Charcot reconstruction. Complications included pin tract infections, broken pin, osteomyelitis, transfer lesions, and ulcerations.

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