We investigated the pathogenesis of soft-tissue contracture in club foot, using immunohistochemistry to study 41 biopsy specimens and 12 normal deltoid ligaments from cadavers. Five biopsy specimens were studied by electron microscopy (EM) to determine the presence of myofibroblasts. All 41 specimens of club foot stained positively for vimentin as against only one of the 12 control specimens. By contrast, there was no difference in staining for desmin or α-smooth muscle actin. EM showed some variability in the appearance of ligamentous cells. Most contained bundles of microfilaments in the cytoplasm and many had abundant pinocytotic vesicles, but no basal lamina or plasmalemmal attachment plaques. Cells of the medial ligamentous tissue in patients with club foot contain vimentin and others have myofibroblastic characteristics. Both features may contribute to recurrence after soft-tissue release.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine