Is it necessary to re-fuse a non-union of a hallux metatarsophalangeal joint arthrodesis?

Hope, Matthew, Savva, Nicholas, Whitehouse, Sarah L., Elliot, Robin, & Saxby, Terry S. (2010) Is it necessary to re-fuse a non-union of a hallux metatarsophalangeal joint arthrodesis? Foot & Ankle International, 31(8), pp. 662-669.

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BACKGROUND: The standard treatment for a non-union of the hallux metatarsophalangeal joint fusion has been to revise the fusion. Revision fusion is technically more demanding, often involving bone grafting, more substantial fixation and prolonged period of immobilization postoperatively. We present data to suggest that removal of hardware and debridement alone is an alternative treatment option. ----------

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A case note review identified patients with a symptomatic non-union after hallux metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) fusion. It is our practice to offer these patients revision fusion or removal of hardware and debridement. For the seven patients that chose hardware removal and were left with a pseudarthrosis, a matched control group was selected from patients who had had successful fusions. Three outcome scores were used. Hallux valgus and dorsiflexion angles were recorded.----------

RESULTS: One hundred thirty-nine hallux MTPJ arthrodeses were carried out. Fourteen non-unions were identified. The rate of non-union in males and following previous hallux MTPJ surgery was 19% and 24%, respectively. In females undergoing a primary MTPJ fusion, the rate was 2.4%. Twelve non-union patients were reviewed at 27 months (mean). Eleven patients had elected to undergo removal of hardware and debridement. Four patients with pseudarthrosis were unhappy with the results and proceeded to either revision fusion or MTPJ replacement. Seven non-union patients, who had removal of hardware alone, had outcome scores marginally worse compared to those with successful fusions.----------

CONCLUSION: Removal of hardware alone is a reasonable option to offer as a relatively minor procedure following a failed arthrodesis of the first MTPJ. This must be accepted on the proviso that in this study four out of 11 (36%) patients proceeded to a revision first MTPJ fusion or first MTPJ replacement. We also found that the rate of non-union in primary first MTPJ fusion was significantly higher in males and those patients who had undergone previous surgery.

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ID Code: 37712
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Metatarsoplalangeal, MTP, MTPJ, joint, fusion, revision, debridement, non-union
DOI: 10.3113/FAI.2010.0662
ISSN: 1071-1007
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > CLINICAL SCIENCES (110300) > Orthopaedics (110314)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society
Deposited On: 06 Oct 2010 00:30
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:30

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