Article Type

Original Study


Objective Our aim was to study the results of correction of complex foot and ankle deformities in skeletally mature patients using the Ilizarov method with either osteotomy or arthrodesis. Background Complex foot and ankle deformity is a multiplanar one with shortening of the foot. Different corrective procedures have been described for correction of these deformities in skeletally mature patients, such as extensive soft tissue release with capsulotomy, tendon transfer, multiple osteotomies, and arthrodesis. Acute correction with internal fixation methods has many disadvantages such as excessive shortening of the foot, risk for neurovascular bundle injury, high risk for recurrence due to extensive scar formation, and high risk for wound complications. Patients and methods In this study, an Ilizarov external fixator was used for correction of 25 complex foot and ankle deformities in 23 patients with either bone osteotomy, which was done in 12 feet, or arthrodesis in another 13 feet. Results Complete clinical correction of all feet to a plantigrade position was obtained, gait was improved in all cases, and pain was the same, improved, or completely eliminated. Partial relapse of the deformity with recurrence of symptoms occurred in three cases. Conclusion The Ilizarov method of external fixation is an effective, safe, and reliable method for correction of complex foot and ankle deformities in skeletally mature patients, where correction is achieved by performing gradual distraction of foot osteotomies or arthrodesis.