Hallux valgus and cartilage degeneration in the first metatarsophalangeal joint

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This study relates the extent of cartilage lesions within the first metatarsophalangeal joint to hallux valgus.

We prospectively examined 265 first metatarsophalangeal joints of 196 patients with a mean age of 54.2 years at operation for the existence of cartilage lesions.

Grade I lesions were found in 41 feet (15.5%), grade II in 82 (30.9%), grade III in 51 (19.3%), grade IV in 20 (7.5%). Only 71 (26.8%) showed no cartilage lesion. Cartilage lesions were found within the metatarsosesamoid and metatarsophalangeal compartments in 66 feet (34.0%), within the metatarsophalangeal compartment in 26 (13.4%) and within the metatarsosesamoid compartment in 102 (52.6%). A statistically significant correlation was found between the grade of cartilage lesion and the hallux valgus angle, both for the changes within the metatarsophalangeal and the metatarsosesamoid joints.

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