Tips, Quips, and Pearls| Volume 57, ISSUE 2, P357-363, March 2018

Arthroscopy of the First Metatarsophalangeal Joint

  • Kenichiro Nakajima
    Address correspondence to:Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yashio Central General Hospital, 845 Minamikawasaki, Yashio-shi, Saitama 340-0814, Japan.
    Orthopedic Surgeon, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Yashio Central General Hospital, Saitama, Japan
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      Arthroscopic treatments for the first metatarsophalangeal joint have not spread fully owing to a number of factors. First, in the common arthroscopic view, the joint is observed from above, which makes the structures difficult to grasp and the dorsal aspect of the joint difficult to visualize and treat. Second, techniques for widening the view have not yet been reported. Third, the portals necessary for observation and treatment with hallux sesamoids have not yet been established. Finally, techniques for detecting the sesamoids have not been previously reported. We have developed a method for first metatarsophalangeal joint arthroscopy by treating 14 patients with hallux rigidus and 9 patients with hallux sesamoid disorders. We report a new method that combines a variety of arthroscopic techniques. Our study has 4 novel points. First, in our arthroscopic technique, the joint can be examined from the medial side because traction is directly and horizontally applied to the great toe using an adjustable traction device with the surgeon standing on the unoperated side. The technique enables observation of the dorsal aspect of the metatarsal head and proximal phalanx and makes the structures easier to grasp. Second, the coagulator technique as an arthroscopic aid is demonstrated. Third, all aspects of the joint, including the sesamoids, can be observed through our 4 portals. Finally, techniques for detecting the sesamoids are identified. We believe our novel method will ensure that arthroscopy of the first metatarsophalangeal joint is easier than previously described methods.


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