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Acta Orthop. 2006 Feb;77(1):164-8.

Achilles tendon lengthening for ankle equinus deformity in hemophiliacs: 23 patients followed for 1-24 years.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Bonn, Germany. wallny@st-bernhard-hospital.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Bleeding in the calf or ankle joint may lead to ankle equinus deformity, particularly in childhood and during adolescence. We assessed the long-term functional and radiographic results after Achilles tendon lengthening for ankle equinus deformity in hemophiliacs.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Between 1975 and 1986, 30 hemophilic patients with pes equinus were surgically managed by Achilles tendon lengthening. Of these, 23 were followed up prospectively twice a year for an average of 13 (1-24) years. The mean age at operation was 29 (12-46) years. The clinical results were documented according to the score of the Advisory Committee of the World Federation of Hemophilia (WFH), while radio-graphs were evaluated using the Pettersson score. On average, preoperative ankle equinus deformity was 21 (5-55) degrees. Mean range of motion was 21 (5-42) degrees prior to surgery.

RESULTS:

At the first postoperative examination 1 year after surgery, 21/23 cases were improved, and 9/21 reached dorsiflexion to at least neutral position. At the last follow-up, ankle equinus deformity was 10 (4-20) degrees on average. 20/23 patients still showed significant improvement compared to their condition before surgery. 7 patients still had complete correction of the equinus deformity, while mean range of motion decreased constantly over the observation period. The clinical score was significantly improved 1 year after surgery and diminished only slightly afterwards. Radio-graphic outcome deteriorated, with scores rising from 4.3 (1-10) points preoperatively to 7.3 (3-12) points at last follow-up.

INTERPRETATION:

Most patients treated for hemophilic pes equinus by Achilles tendon lengthening experienced long-term benefit concerning the equinus deformity, but gradually lost overall movement of the ankle joint. Progression of the ankle arthropathy cannot be hindered.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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