Can the Syndesmosis Procedure Prevent Metatarsus Primus Varus and Hallux Valgus Deformity Recurrence? A 5-Year Prospective Study.
Summary: This study tested the safety and efficacy of using a syndesmosis procedure to prevent metatarsus primus varus development in patients with a hallux valgus deformity recurrence.
Conclusion: The study found that the treatment resulted in a significant correction of the intermetatarsal angle and remained corrected during the first 6 postoperative months and had no changes after a 4.5-year followup.
One of the main objectives of hallux valgus surgery is correction of the metatarsus primus varus deformity by osteotomy, arthrodesis, or soft tissue correction. The syndesmosis procedure uses intermetatarsal cerclage sutures to realign the first metatarsal and also induces a syndesmotic bonding between the first and second metatarsals to prevent metatarsus primus varus deformity recurrence. The purpose of the present study was to demonstrate radiologic evidence of the effectiveness of the syndesmosis concept and to identify the incidence and nature of deformity recurrence. A total of 55 feet from 60 consecutive procedures were followed regularly at 6 fixed points for 5 years. The radiologic inclusion criterion was a first intermetatarsal angle >9° or metatarsophalangeal angle >20°. The initial postoperative radiographs showed significant correction of the intermetatarsal angle from a preoperative average of 14.5° to 4.3° (p < .0001). It had increased to 7.0° during the first 6 postoperative months but remained within the normal upper limit of 9° and exhibited no further significant changes for the subsequent 4.5 years (p = .0792). Hallux valgus deformity correction also correlated with metatarsus primus varus deformity correction. Three (5%) second metatarsal stress fractures occurred, and all recovered uneventfully. In conclusion, we have report the findings from a detailed medium long-term follow-up study showing, to the best of our knowledge, for the first time that metatarsus primus varus and hallux valgus deformities can be effectively corrected and maintained using a specific surgical technique. Also included are 6 relevant radiographs and photographs of the included and excluded feet in the online Supplementary Material for reference.