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Foot Ankle Int. 2001 Jun;22(6):462-70.

Outcomes following cheilectomy and interpositional arthroplasty in hallux rigidus.

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University of Toronto, and St. Michael's-Wellesley Hospital, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Surgical management of hallux rigidus remains controversial. Arthrodesis is considered the gold standard. However, many patients are reluctant to undergo fusion. This paper reviews two commonly used procedures that are reasonable alternatives. A retrospective review of 19 patients (24 feet) with grade 2 osteoarthritis and 11 patients (11 feet) with grade 3 osteoarthritis was performed. The patients with grade 2 osteoarthritis were managed with a cheilectomy and the patients with grade 3 osteoarthritis with an interpositional arthroplasty. All patients were individually assessed with a subjective questionnaire, physical exam, AOFAS hallux scale, SF-36 and pedobarographic analysis. Cheilectomy patients (51.9 years) were younger than interpositional arthroplasty (59 years). Follow up between the interpositional arthroplasties (2.0 years) and cheilectomies (2.1 years) were comparable. Postoperative motion, visual analogue pain scale and SF-36 scores were comparable between groups. Cheilectomies had a higher mean AOFAS score (77.3) than interpositional arthroplasties (71.6). Weakness of the great toe was reported in 72.7% of interpositional arthroplasty patients compared to only 16.7% of patients with a cheilectomy. Patient satisfaction was 87.5% in cheilectomies and 72.7% in interpositional arthroplasties. Pedobarographic analysis demonstrated a decreased load under the great toe with increased weight transfer to the lesser metatarsal heads in all patients. The weight transfer to the lesser metatarsal heads was greatest in patients with interpositional arthroplasty. Management of moderate hallux rigidus with a cheilectomy and phalangeal osteotomy is a reliable method of relieving pain and improving function. Management of severe osteoarthritis of the joint with an interpositional arthroplasty should be considered a salvage procedure with less reliable results.

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