PMID: 12892191Aug 2, 2003Paper

The management of brachymetatarsia

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. British Volume
H T KimJ T Suh


We treated 35 brachymetatarsal rays of 18 feet in 12 patients by one-stage lengthening with interpositional bone grafts or by gradual lengthening with callotasis combined with shortening of the adjacent metatarsals and phalanges. Definition of the two parabolas which connect the metatarsal heads and the tips of the toes, and recognition of three patterns of metatarsal length, were helpful guides in treatment. In total, 36 excisions of the phalanges and/or the metatarsals were undertaken. The mean shortening was 8 mm. The radiological results were satisfactory. The mean values were as follows: one-stage lengthening, length gain, 1.3 cm; healing index, 1.3 months/cm; percentage increase, 30%; gradual lengthening, length gain, 2.0 cm; healing index, 2.0 months/cm; percentage increase, 50%. Associated shortening of an adjacent bone can avoid the disadvantages of one-stage lengthening which may not achieve target length and can result in neurovascular complications. Reduction of the target length enables the surgeon to carry out one-stage instead of gradual lengthening. It also shortens the length of treatment in the group undergoing callotasis and improves cosmesis.


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