Metatarsal head resection for diabetic foot ulcers

Arch Surg. 1990 Jul;125(7):832-5. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410190024003.


Twenty-five diabetic patients underwent 34 metatarsal head resections for chronic neuropathic ulceration. All ulcers were located on the plantar surface beneath the metatarsophalangeal joints. The ulcers had been present for a mean of 9.0 +/- 7.8 months before operation, yet they healed in a mean of 2.4 +/- 1.6 months postoperatively. None recurred during the mean follow-up time of 13.8 +/- 11.0 months. Moderate peripheral vascular disease, impaired renal function, and retinopathy did not affect the time required for ulcer healing. There were two complications: one wound infection and one hematoma. No extremities were lost, and none of the patients suffered any long-term sequelae. We recommend metatarsal head resection to achieve the healing of chronic diabetic foot ulcers under the metatarsophalangeal joints.

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / surgery*
  • Female
  • Foot Diseases / etiology
  • Foot Diseases / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metatarsal Bones / surgery*
  • Metatarsophalangeal Joint / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Period
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Ulcer / etiology
  • Skin Ulcer / surgery*
  • Wound Healing