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Arthroscopy. 2011 Mar;27(3):430-5. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2010.10.018.

Arthroscopic resection of talocalcaneal coalitions.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.


Excision of symptomatic talocalcaneal coalitions, after failure of an adequate conservative treatment, is a widely accepted surgical treatment when less than 50% of the subtalar joint is involved and in the absence of degenerative changes to the subtalar or surrounding tarsal joints. Favorable results have been reported in 80% to 100% of patients with open resection. The traditional medial incision to the subtalar joint provides excellent exposure of the middle facet but inadequate visualization of the posterior facet. Other common disadvantages of the traditional open technique include (1) risk of incisional neuroma formation, (2) risk of superficial wound infection and delayed wound healing, and (3) prolonged hospitalization for wound management and pain control. Prone ankle/subtalar arthroscopy has been reported to yield excellent results in the treatment of numerous hindfoot pathologies, with the advantage of reducing postoperative pain, hospital stay, infection rates, wound complications, and recovery time. A posterior arthroscopic technique for posterior-facet talocalcaneal coalition excision has been developed in an attempt to reduce the complications of the traditional open resection. Possible disadvantages of the arthroscopic procedure may include (1) longer learning curve, (2) increased surgical time, (3) possible tibial neurovascular bundle damage, and (4) difficulties in using interposition material.

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