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Foot Ankle Int. 2013 Jan;34(1):104-10. doi: 10.1177/1071100712458961.

Postoperative second metatarsal fractures associated with suture-button implant in hallux valgus surgery.

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  • 1Broward Orthopedic Specialists, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.



The purpose of this study was to perform a retrospective review of a nonosteotomy technique for the reduction of the intermetatarsal (IM) angle in hallux valgus (HV) surgery using a modified nonabsorbable suture-button implant previously described for ankle syndesmotic injuries and to report on the outcomes and complications associated with this technique.


A retrospective review was performed of consecutive patients with a minimum follow-up of 1 year. Twenty-five patients, a total of 25 feet, were identified with a mean follow-up of 22.5 months. The mean age was 60 years. The pre- and postoperative HV and IM angles were compared. Each postoperative radiograph was assessed for loss of correction, implant failure, and second metatarsal (MT) stress fracture. The postoperative hallux American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) scores were obtained at the patient's final follow-up visit. Statistics were performed using the paired Student t test with the P value set at .05 to determine statistical differences.


The preoperative mean IM and HV angles were 15.1 and 30.5 degrees, respectively. The postoperative mean IM and HV angles were 8.2 and 10.2 degrees, respectively. The reductions in the IM and HV angles were statistically significant (P < .05). The average postoperative AOFAS hallux score was 85. Two patients developed hallux varus (8%). Eight patients (32%) developed second metatarsal stress fractures. One patient (4%) with a second metatarsal stress fracture had a failure of the implant that required implant removal. The remaining stress fractures healed uneventfully.


Suture-button fixation in hallux valgus achieved a satisfactory reduction in the first-second intermetatarsal angle compared with first metatarsal osteotomies but was associated with a high rate of second metatarsal stress fractures.


Level IV, retrospective case series.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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