Progression of Healing on Serial Radiographs Following First Ray Arthrodesis in the Foot Using a Biplanar Plating Technique Without Compression

Published:February 22, 2019DOI:


      A review of 195 first ray arthrodeses fixated with a twin-plate biplanar construct, without interfragmentary compression, is presented. This fixation construct was evaluated in a consecutive cohort of patients undergoing first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) arthrodesis or the first tarsometatarsal joint (TMT) arthrodesis. Multiple radiographs were used to assess the progression of healing at the following postoperative time frames: 4 to 9 weeks, 10 to 12 weeks, >12 weeks, and the final follow-up. In total, 85 feet underwent first MTP arthrodesis, and 110 feet underwent first TMT arthrodesis. At the final radiographic follow-up, 97.44% of all cases had shown progressive osseous gap filling at the arthrodesis site, stable position of the bone segments, and intact hardware without loosening, 98.24% of the first MTP arthrodesis group and 96.82% of the first TMT arthrodesis group. Five (5.43%) feet had the presence of lucency at the fusion interface at the final follow-up, without positional change or hardware failure. Four (1.8%) feet had a failure of the hardware, loss of position, or frank gapping at the fusion site. Lucency decreased consistently over time in this series of patients (p < .00001). Progressive increase in callus density at the fusion site on serial radiographs was noted to be a consistent finding for both procedures and was the primary indicator of secondary bone healing at the noncompressed, relatively stable arthrodesis site. Our results confirm that biplanar plating construct without interfragmentary compression produces high fusion rates following the first MTP or TMT arthrodesis, with early weightbearing.

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