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Foot Ankle Int. 1997 Jul;18(7):391-7.

Plantar pressure distribution after resection of the metatarsal heads in rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Orthopaedics, University of Vienna, Austria.


Surgical correction of the forefoot in rheumatoid arthritis by resection of all metatarsal heads in combination with a resection arthroplasty of the first metatarsophalangeal joint showed excellent and good results in 20 (77%) of 26 cases and satisfactory and fair results in 6 (23%) of 26 cases. Twenty-six feet in 16 patients were operated on by a plantar approach and examined after a mean follow-up period of 50 months (range, 24-90 months). Seventy-three percent of the patients were free of pain. In 75 (58%) of all 130 investigated toes, complete absence of load distribution was noted. In the remaining 55 (42%) toes, we observed a variable extent of function, depending on the length of resection. Although toe function is better in minimal metatarsal resection, single excessive length or plantar spike formation revealed pressure peaks in the metatarsal area. Metatarsal head resection provided reduction of pain and correction of severe deformities, and permitted the patients to wear ordinary shoes in 24 (93%) of 26 cases.

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