Distal Metatarsal Segmental Shortening for the Treatment of Chronic Metatarsophalangeal Dislocation of Lesser Toes

Tzu Cheng Yang, Yun Hsuan Tzeng, Chien Shun Wang, Ming Chau Chang, Chao Ching Chiang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: This retrospective study aimed to describe the techniques and results of distal metatarsal segmental shortening (DMSS) for the treatment of chronic irreducible metatarsophalangeal (MTP) dislocation of lesser toes. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients who underwent DMSS for chronic dislocation of MTP joints of lesser toes between January 2010 and December 2017 with follow-up of at least 24 months. Demographic data, radiographic measurements, functional outcomes, and complications were analyzed. Furthermore, the results of patients with short segment of shortening (group I, <10 mm) were compared to those with long segment of shortening (group II, ≥10 mm). A total of 43 MTP joints of 30 patients with an average age of 70.4 years were included. Results: Union was observed in 42 metatarsals (97.7%). Mean American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society scale scores improved significantly from 42.2 (range, 15-65) preoperatively to 79.1 (range, 52-90) (P <.001). Mean visual analog scale pain score improved significantly from 5.0 (range, 1-9) preoperatively to 1.8 (range, 0-6) (P <.001). Complications included 1 nonunion, 1 osteonecrosis, 3 metatarsal angulation, 4 recurrent instability, 4 symptomatic osteoarthritis, 3 transfer metatarsalgia, and 1 floating toe. Group I included 23 MTP joints and group II included 20 MTP joints. There was no significant difference in clinical outcomes and complications between the 2 groups. Conclusion: DMSS was a reliable procedure for the treatment of chronic irreducible dislocated MTP joint of lesser toes. It provided satisfactory surgical outcomes and a low rate of postoperative complications, regardless of length of metatarsal shortening. Level of Evidence: Level III, retrospective comparative study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • dislocation
  • lesser toes
  • metatarsophalangeal joint
  • segmental shortening
  • transfer metatarsalgia


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