In-toeing gait in children with clubfoot and the effect of tibial rotation osteotomy.
In-toeing gait is common after treatment for clubfoot deformity and is often secondary to residual internal tibial torsion. The purpose of the current study was to characterize the gait pattern in children with an intoeing gait pattern associated with talipes equinovarus (TEV) deformity, identify secondary changes at the hip that occur with intoeing, and determine if these secondary effects resolve after correction of tibial torsion. Patients with a diagnosis of TEV deformity, in-toeing gait secondary to residual internal tibial torsion corrected with tibial rotation osteotomy (TRO) and complete preoperative and postoperative motion analysis studies obtained approximately 1 year apart, were included in the study. Nineteen children (19 left extremities) with a TRO at a mean age of 8.2 years met inclusion criteria. Clinical examination showed improvement in tibial torsion assessment by measure of the thigh foot axis and transmalleolar axis. Kinematically, an abnormal internal FPA was present in all cases preoperatively, was corrected to normal in 12 (63%), remained internal in 5 (26%), and was abnormally external in 2 (11%). External hip rotation was identified in 13 (68%) cases preoperatively. Hip rotation was normalized postoperatively in 7 (54%), and was unchanged in the remaining 6 (46%). TRO provides effective correction of excessive internal tibial torsion, resolution of kinematic internal knee rotation, and normalization of the internal foot progression angle in the majority of patients with TEV deformity. External hip rotation resolved in approximately 50% of cases. Overcorrection of the internal FPA is possible when secondary changes at the hip do not resolve.