The Vertical Contour Calcanectomy: An Alternative Surgical Technique to the Conventional Partial Calcanectomy

Tammer Elmarsafi, Andrew J. Pierre, Kaihua Wang, Karen K. Evans, Christopher E. Attinger, Paul J. Kim, John S. Steinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Heel ulcers have a significant impact on lower extremity morbidity and confer a high risk for major amputations. Although there are many conservative treatment options, once calcaneal osteomyelitis occurs or a heel ulcer becomes chronic or recalcitrant, more invasive management is required. The partial calcanectomy is a surgical solution that can address both pathologies—the ulceration and the infected bone. The conventional partial calcanectomy, however, does not ensure complete soft tissue closure. Often, closure under tension is required for primary closure of the soft tissue deficit or the wound must be closed by secondary intention. This process occurs, in part, when the proportion of bone resected is insufficient in relation to the size of the wound. Closure under tension increases the possibility of dehiscence and subsequent postoperative surgical site complications that lead to the same risks for major amputation as the index heel ulcer. This article introduces and describes a novel modification to the conventional partial calcanectomy and addresses these aforementioned concerns. The vertical contour calcanectomy incorporates improvements to an already accepted limb salvage technique. The purpose of this article was to describe the indications, contraindications, intraoperative technique and postoperative management of the vertical contour calcanectomy for patients who present with heel ulcers in the limb salvage setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-386
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Foot and Ankle Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • 4
  • Cierny Mader
  • amputation
  • calcaneus
  • diabetes
  • heel ulcer
  • limb salvage
  • osteomyelitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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