BACKGROUND: The results of first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint arthrodesis as a specific treatment for failed hallux valgus correction has not been previously reported. We evaluated the results of first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint arthrodesis as a treatment for failed hallux valgus surgery. METHODS: The records of the senior author (MJC) were reviewed to identify patients treated for symptomatic failed hallux valgus procedures with arthrodesis of the first metatarsophalangeal joint over a 20-year period. Twenty-nine patients (33 feet) were available for followup examination. The patients completed a visual analog pain score, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Hallux Metatarsophalangeal-Interphalangeal Scale, and a patient satisfaction scale at the final followup. Radiographs were obtained of both feet. RESULTS: The average followup was 8 (1 to 22) years. The average pain score improved from 7 to 3 points. The mean AOFAS score was 73 points at followup. Patient satisfaction was excellent for 13 feet (39%), good in 11 (33%), fair in eight (24%), and poor in one (3%). The mean hallux valgus angle was 16 degrees, with an intermetatarsal angle of 8 degrees. There were three asymptomatic and one symptomatic nonunions. Twenty-two feet (67%) had corrective procedures performed on the lesser toes at the time of the first MTP joint arthrodesis. CONCLUSIONS: First MTP joint arthrodesis is a reliable option for revision after failure of surgical treatment of hallux valgus. This procedure can be used to treat a number of failure modes following initial hallux valgus surgery including recurrence, hallux varus, cock-up deformity, degenerative arthritis of the MTP joint, and associated transfer lesions beneath the lesser metatarsals. First MTP joint arthrodesis can be used after failed proximal and distal osteotomies, arthrodesis of the metatarsocuneiform joint, McBride procedure, exostectomy, and resection arthroplasty. Revision procedures have poorer clinical outcomes than successful primary hallux valgus procedures.
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