II. Epidemiology

  1. Rare foot dislocation
  2. Subtalar Dislocations represent only 1 to 2% of all dislocations
  3. Young men account for a majority of cases

III. Pathophysiology

  1. High energy injury (e.g. Motor Vehicle Accident, fall from height, sports such as basketball)
  2. Disruption of two joints (breaking through joint capsules and strong ligaments)
    1. Talocalcaneal joint
    2. Talonavicular joint
  3. Dislocation Direction Based on Midfoot Displacement
    1. Medial Subtalar Dislocation (65% of cases)
      1. High force inversion injury while foot is plantar flexed
    2. Lateral Subtalar Dislocation (35% of cases)
      1. High force eversion injury while foot is plantar flexed
    3. Anterior Subtalar Dislocation (rare)
    4. Posterior Subtalar Dislocation (rare)

IV. Signs

  1. See Foot Pain for evaluation (including neurovascular exam)
  2. Midfoot displacement in relation to hindfoot
  3. Foot is fixed in supination in Medial Subtalar Dislocation
  4. Foot is fixed in pronation in Lateral Subtalar Dislocation

V. Imaging

  1. XRay Foot
    1. Obtain pre-reduction and post-reduction films
  2. CT Foot
    1. Evaluate for occult associated injuries
    2. Associated occult injuries are common and frequently change management
      1. Fifth Metatarsal Fracture
      2. Talus Fracture
      3. Malleolus Fracture
      4. Osteochondral Fracture
    3. References
      1. Bibbo (2001) Foot Ankle Int 22(4): 324-8 [PubMed]

VI. Management

  1. Closed Reduction
    1. Perform emergently under Procedural Sedation
    2. Patient supine with knee flexed to 90 degrees (relaxes calf Muscles)
    3. Apply inline traction and countertraction
    4. Accentuate the deformity, and then reverse to reposition
    5. Interposed tissue may not allow for reduction (Open reduction may be needed)
  2. Immobilization (4 weeks is typical)
    1. Short leg stirrup splint
    2. Non-weight bearing with Crutches
    3. Some studies recommend 2 to 3 weeks of immobilization, followed by range of motion Exercises
      1. Lasanianos (2011) J Orthop Traumatol 12(1): 37-43 [PubMed]
  3. Referral
    1. Consult Orthopedics or podiatry for follow-up
    2. Emergent Consultation indications
      1. Open Fracture
      2. Neurovascular compromise
      3. Non-reducible dislocation

VII. Complications

  1. Post-Traumatic Arthritis
  2. Talus necrosis
  3. Subtalar Joint Stiffness

VIII. References

  1. Jong and Huang (2022) Crit Dec Emerg Med 36(4): 22-3
  2. Prada-Cañizares (2016) Int Orthop 40(5):999-1007 +PMID: 26208589 [PubMed]

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Related Studies

Ontology: Dislocation of subtalar joint (C0559399)

Concepts Injury or Poisoning (T037)
SnomedCT 281506007
English Dislocation of subtalar joint (diagnosis), dislocation subtalar joint, Dislocation of subtalar joint, Dislocation of subtalar joint (disorder)
Spanish luxación de la articulación subastragalina (trastorno), luxación de la articulación subastragalina