We studied the development of ball-and-socket deformity of the ankle by arthrography and radiography in 14 ankles of ten patients with congenital longitudinal deficiency of the fibula accompanied by various anomalies. The mean follow-up was for 18 years 10 months. In three ankles in infants less than one year old the lateral and medial sides of the ankle were already slightly round. In another seven ankles the ball-and-socket appearance developed before the age of five years. This was thought to be due to osseous coalition which limits eversion and inversion. In another four ankles in children who were over the age of one year at the initial examination, the deformity was demonstrated by arthrography and radiography at their first examination. Ball-and-socket deformity accompanied by tarsal coalition is an acquired deformity secondary to limitation of movement of the subtalar and midtarsal joints. It has completely developed by about five years of age.
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