A Retrospective Comparison of Four Plate Constructs for First Metatarsophalangeal Joint Fusion: Static Plate, Static Plate with Lag Screw, Locked Plate, and Locked Plate with Lag Screw

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The primary treatment for progressive first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint arthritis is arthrodesis. Multiple fixation types have been used to accomplish fusion including plating. There have been no published articles reporting the outcomes of these 4 plate and/or screw constructs. We present our experience with 138 first MTP joint fusions using these constructs. A retrospective comparison and radiographic chart review of 132 patients (138 feet) was performed to compare different constructs in regards to successful union and time to fusion. All operations were performed by 4 fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeons. The radiographs were independently read by 2 authors not involved in the index procedures. Radiographic fusion was determined by bridging cortices across the joint line. The mean time to union (in days) and rate of fusion were static plate: 59, 95%, static plate with lag screw: 56, 86%, locked plate: 66, 92%, and locked plate with lag screw: 53, 96%. There was not a statistically significant difference between the groups in regards to patient age, time to weight bearing, time to fusion, or rate of fusion. We report on the results of fusion comparing 4 different plate and/or screw constructs for first MTP joint fusion. The data reveal no significant difference in time to fusion or rate of fusion between static and locked plates, with or without a lag screw.Level of Clinical Evidence: 3

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