Fusion of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) is the reference standard surgery for significant hallux rigidus. A number of different techniques for first MTPJ fusion have been reported. We describe our technique of first MTPJ fusion using cup and cone reamers for joint surface preparation and 2 crossed cannulated screws for fixation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the single largest series using this technique. The present study reports on a single-surgeon, consecutive series of 166 consecutive cases in 147 patients who had undergone first MTPJ fusion. The demographic data and comorbidities of the patients were collected from the digital medical records, and the radiographs were evaluated by 2 of us (S.Q., M.A.) independently to document fusion status. Radiologic nonunion was seen in 11 of 166 cases (6.6%). The mean duration of follow up was 60 ± 29.5 (minimum 26, maximum 183) days. However, only 4 of the 11 cases (36%) of nonunion were clinically symptomatic and underwent revision using a bone graft and locking plate. A statistically significant difference was found in union rates among males and females (p = .01). Other factors, such as diabetes (p = .2), inflammatory arthritis (p = .5), steroids (p = .6), smoking (p = .5), hallux valgus deformity (p = .5), and concomitant forefoot surgery, did not have a statistically significant (p = .3) effect on union in our study. The union rate of first MTPJ fusion with our technique was comparable to that of others, with the advantage of being simple and less expensive compared with the use of a plate.
Level of Clinical Evidence: 3