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Iatrogenic Damage to Neurovascular and Soft Tissue Structures During Lateral Release of Hallux Valgus: A Comparative Anatomical Study of Minimally Invasive Versus Open Surgical Techniques

      ABSTRACT

      Lateral release is often an integral step in surgical correction of hallux valgus and can be performed using open or minimally invasive techniques. We investigated whether these techniques cause iatrogenic damage to arteries, nerves, tendons, or joint capsules. In this cadaver study, lateral release was performed on 9 pairs of specimens by a specialized foot surgeon. The specimens were randomly assigned to each group. The operations were followed by anatomical preparation, data collection, photo documentation, and statistical analysis. Iatrogenic damage to arteries, nerves, tendons, or joint capsules was rare, regardless of the surgical technique used. However, with the minimally invasive technique, the tendon of the extensor hallucis longus muscle and the sensitive terminal branches of the fibular nerve were at risk due to their anatomical proximity to the access portal. The deep transverse metatarsal ligament was potentially at risk if the adductor hallucis muscle was completely detached from the lateral sesamoid. When the deep transverse metatarsal ligament was transected there was risk of damaging the underlying plantar neurovascular structures. Both surgical techniques are safe in terms of the risk of injury to neighboring neurovascular and soft tissue structures.

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