Clinical Outcomes After Joint-Preserving and Joint-Sacrificing Surgery for Hallux Rigidus

Cureus. 2023 Jul 19;15(7):e42155. doi: 10.7759/cureus.42155. eCollection 2023 Jul.


Introduction Hallux rigidus (HR) is a degenerative condition affecting the first metatarsal phalangeal joint, causing stiffness and pain. Surgery is indicated for those who have failed a trial of conservative management. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the functional outcomes at short and medium term after surgery for HR. Methods All patients who underwent surgical treatment for HR between 2017 and 2022 at the time of this study were identified and invited to return for a follow-up evaluation. Outcomes were assessed by comparison of pre-operative and post-operative visual analogue scale (VAS) and American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) scores. Results A total of 26 patients were included in our study with a mean follow-up of 31 months. There was a mean improvement in VAS score by 5.6 (p-value < 0.0001) and 5.7 (p-value = 0.0012) in patients who underwent joint-preserving (JP) and joint-sacrificing (JS) surgery, respectively. Patients who underwent JP surgery had a mean increase of 28.1 points (p-value < 0.0001) in the AOFAS Hallux score, while patients who underwent JS surgery had a mean increase of 27.29 points (p-value = 0.0066). Conclusion Functional outcomes after surgical management for HR are good at short- and medium-term follow-up. Good outcomes are seen with both JP and JS procedures. JP procedures should be considered as a first-line surgical option for HR as it allows revision procedures if required.

Keywords: ankle and foot; first metatarsophalangeal arthrodesis; foot and ankle reconstruction; hallux disorders; hallux rigidus; osteoarthritis (oa).