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J Orthop Res. 1996 Nov;14(6):980-5.

Effects of medial and lateral displacement calcaneal osteotomies on tibiotalar joint contact stresses.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242, USA.


Translational calcaneal osteotomies are used clinically to realign the mechanical axis of the lower limb. In this study, the effects of medial and lateral displacements of the posteroinferior fragment on tibiotalar joint contact mechanics were assessed using pressure-sensitive film. Eight osteotomized fresh-frozen cadaver specimens were loaded in each of three testing positions: neutral position (no shift), 1 cm of lateral displacement of the inferior fragment with respect to the superior fragment, and 1 cm of medial displacement of the inferior fragment. For an applied load of 1,330 N, two times body weight, a 1 cm lateral displacement shifted the center of pressure an average of 1.06 mm laterally, whereas a 1 cm medial displacement shifted the center of pressure an average of 1.58 mm medially. While global contact parameters (contact area, spatial mean contact stress, and peak local contact stress) were not appreciably altered by osteotomy, regional contact parameters changed in a reproducible and statistically significant manner. Among four nominally equal-sized, parasagittally bounded cartilage zones, lateral displacements consistently unloaded the most medial zone and increased loading of the most lateral zone; medial calcaneal displacements had the converse effect. These cadaver results suggest that translational calcaneal osteotomies may be used clinically to partially offload focal areas of cartilage along the medial and lateral borders of the tibiotalar joint.

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