Surgical Outcomes After Minimally Invasive Release of Stroke-Related Equinovarus Contracture of the Foot and Ankle


      Cerebrovascular accident frequently causes spastic equinovarus contracture of the foot and ankle, for which traditional surgical correction involves tendon transfer, osteotomy, and hindfoot fusion, which can be challenging for patients after cerebrovascular accident. We prospectively assessed the efficacy of a minimally invasive, ambulatory approach to correct this complex deformity in 12 consecutive patients. Surgery included Achilles tendon lengthening, lengthening of the posterior tibial tendon, and flexor tenotomy of all 5 digits. The 10-cm visual-analog scale and the Bristol Foot Score were used to assess pain and subjective foot-related quality of life, respectively. The mean patient age was 61.5 ± 5.68 years, and the duration of follow-up was 29.3 ± 18.5 (range 12.2 to 63.3) months. All patients had a preoperative equinovarus foot structure and all had a rectus foot in weightbearing stance at the 1-year postoperative evaluation. Nine (75.0%) patients showed no residual or recurrent deformity, whereas 3 (25.5%) displayed incomplete release of digital contractures; all patients were treated with in-office flexor tenotomy. Preoperative maximum ankle dorsiflexion was ≤90° in 12 (100%) patients and >90° in 9 (75.0%) patients postoperatively. The mean visual-analog scale score decreased in 10 (83.3%) patients, although a statistically significant decrease was not observed (p = .0535). The Bristol Foot Score improved from 55.17 ± 11.10 preoperatively to 36.83 ± 13.26 postoperatively, and this improvement was statistically significant (p = .0022). These outcomes demonstrate the effectiveness of the minimally invasive, ambulatory surgical approach to spastic equinovarus contracture without identified patient harm.

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