Original research| Volume 48, ISSUE 2, P170-179, March 2009

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Lapidus Bunionectomy: Early Evaluation of Crossed Lag Screws versus Locking Plate with Plantar Lag Screw

      We compared outcomes of the Lapidus bunionectomy fixated with crossed lag screws versus a locking plate with a plantar lag screw. Forty patients who underwent Lapidus bunionectomy between August 2001 and May 2006 were evaluated in a combined retrospective and prospective fashion. Crossed lag screws were used in 19 of the patients, and a locking plate with a plantar lag screw was used in 21 of the patients. Other than fixation, the only interventional difference pertained to postoperative weight bearing, where those receiving the plate initiated full weight bearing on the operated foot at 4 weeks postoperative, as compared to 6 weeks for those receiving crossed screws. Overall, the mean preoperative AOFAS hallux score was 41.75 ± 2.52, and the postoperative score was 90.48 ± 8.41 (P < .0001). The overall mean preoperative first intermetatarsal angle was 15.3° ± 2.32°, and long term the angle was 5.03° ± 2.86° (P < .0001). When comparisons were made based on the method of fixation, use of an adjunct Akin osteotomy and surgery performed before 2003 were statistically significantly associated with crossed screw fixation, and the preoperative AOFAS score was statistically significantly higher in the locking plate fixation group. There were no statistically significant differences related to postoperative complications between the 2 fixation groups. In conclusion, the Lapidus bunionectomy fixated with a locking plate and a plantar lag screw allows earlier weight bearing in comparison with crossed lag screws, without a difference in complications. Level of Clinical Evidence: 2

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