Purpose: Nondegradable steel-and titanium-based implants are commonly used in orthopedic surgery. Although they provide maximal stability, they are also associated with interference on imaging modalities, may induce stress shielding, and additional explantation procedures may be necessary. Alternatively, degradable polymer implants are mechanically weaker and induce foreign body reactions. Degradable magnesium-based stents are currently being investigated in clinical trials for use in cardiovascular medicine. The magnesium alloy MgYREZr demonstrates good biocompatibility and osteoconductive properties. The aim of this prospective, randomized, clinical pilot trial was to determine if magnesium-based MgYREZr screws are equivalent to standard titanium screws for fixation during chevron osteotomy in patients with a mild hallux valgus.
Methods: Patients (n=26) were randomly assigned to undergo osteosynthesis using either titanium or degradable magnesium-based implants of the same design. The 6 month follow-up period included clinical, laboratory, and radiographic assessments.
Results: No significant differences were found in terms of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score for hallux, visual analog scale for pain assessment, or range of motion (ROM) of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ). No foreign body reactions, osteolysis, or systemic inflammatory reactions were detected. The groups were not significantly different in terms of radiographic or laboratory results.
Conclusion: The radiographic and clinical results of this prospective controlled study demonstrate that degradable magnesium-based screws are equivalent to titanium screws for the treatment of mild hallux valgus deformities.