Usefulness of Intraoperative Arthrography for Postaxial Polysyndactyly of the Foot

J Pediatr Orthop. 2023 Mar 1;43(3):e244-e248. doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000002323. Epub 2022 Dec 8.


Background: Surgery for polydactyly of the foot aims to achieve good cosmesis and improve shoe fitting. An accurate understanding of toe morphology will help to minimize the skin incision or optimize the surgical plan before incision. However, it is difficult to determine the shape of the articular surface using radiographs of children with immature bone. We performed arthrography during surgery for postaxial polydactyly of the foot to assess the cartilaginous structures. The purpose of this study was to investigate the usefulness of arthrography in postaxial polydactyly of the foot.

Methods: We included 36 digits of 31 patients (16 males and 15 females), including 5 bilateral cases. The age at surgery ranged from 9 to 75 months (mean, 20 mo). Intraoperative arthrography was performed and all radiographs and arthrograms were reviewed and classified by 3 observers using the Watanabe classification. The absolute percentage agreement between the observers was calculated. The senior author assigned the arthrograms as the reference. The types determined by the other 2 observers using radiographs and arthrograms were compared with the reference.

Results: Full agreement occurred in 66.7% of the radiographs and in 75% of arthrograms. The mean kappa coefficient was 0.58, indicating fair agreement, between the reference and the radiologic assessment, while it was 0.81, indicating excellent or almost perfect agreement, in the evaluation using arthrograms.

Conclusions: Intraoperative arthrography is an easy and reliable diagnostic method that can be used to determine the detailed articular shape.

Level of evidence: Level III.

MeSH terms

  • Arthrography
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Foot
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Polydactyly* / surgery
  • Syndactyly*

Supplementary concepts

  • Polydactyly, Postaxial