Comparison of Different Surgical Techniques in Correction of Congenital Vertical Talus Deformity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Literature

Jason L. Cummings, Asdrubal E. Rivera, Abhishek Tippabhatla, Pooya Hosseinzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Congenital Vertical Talus (CVT) is a rare form of congenital rigid flatfoot. Numerous surgical techniques have been developed over the years in an attempt to definitively correct this deformity. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing literature to compare the outcomes of children with CVT treated with different methods. Methods: A detailed systematic search was conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Radiographic recurrence of the deformity, reoperation rate, ankle arc of motion, and clinical scoring was compared between the following 5 methods: Two-Stage Coleman-Stelling Technique, Direct Medial Approach, Single-Stage Dorsal (Seimon) Approach, Cincinnati Incision, and Dobbs Method. Meta-analyses of proportions were performed, and data were pooled through a random effects model using the DerSimonian and Laird approach. Heterogeneity was assessed using I^2 statistics. The authors used a modified version of the Adelaar scoring system to assess clinical outcomes. An alpha of 0.05 was used for all statistical analysis. Results: Thirty-one studies (580 feet) met the inclusion criteria. The reported incidence of radiographic recurrence of talonavicular subluxation was 19.3%, with 7.8% requiring reoperation. Radiographic recurrence of the deformity was highest in the children treated with the direct medial approach (29.3%) and lowest in the Single-Stage Dorsal Approach cohort (11%) (P<0.05). The reoperation rate was significantly lower in the Single-Stage Dorsal Approach cohort (2%) compared with all other methods (P<0.05). There was no significant difference in the reoperation rates between the other methods. The highest clinical score was seen in the Dobbs Method cohort (8.36), followed by the group treated with the Single-Stage Dorsal Approach (7.81). The Dobbs Method resulted in the largest ankle arc of motion. Conclusion: We found the lowest radiographic recurrence and reoperation rates in the Single-Stage Dorsal Approach cohort, while the highest rate of radiographic recurrence was seen in those treated with the Direct Medial Approach. The Dobbs Method results in higher clinical scores and ankle arc of motion. Future long-term studies focusing on patient-reported outcomes are needed. Level of Evidence: Level III.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-325
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • congenital foot
  • congenital vertical talus
  • dobbs method
  • meta-analysis
  • minimally invasive correction
  • single-stage correction
  • treatment outcomes
  • two-stage correction


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