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BACKGROUND: Valgus deviation of the second toe can be associated with metatarsophalangeal joint pain, footwear fitting problems, and cosmetic concerns. It also reduces the buttress effect of the second toe on the hallux and may allow progression of hallux valgus. The traditional operative approaches for digital arthrodesis or lesser metatarsal osteotomy have unpredictable results.
METHODS: This study reviewed the effect of a closing wedge osteotomy on the proximal phalanx in 26 women with an average age of 59 years (SD 10) who had a valgus second toe. The patients had weightbearing radiographs preoperatively and at an average 28 months postoperatively. Clinical examination assessed for floating toe, range of metatarsophalangeal joint motion, and patient satisfaction.
RESULTS: Before surgery the average second toe valgus angle measured 28 degrees and at final review this had reduced to 14 degrees (p < 0.001). Postoperatively, the average range of dorsiflexion of the digit was 42 degrees (SD 20). The average plantarflexion was 16 degrees (SD 10). Floating of the digit was noted in five patients and recurrrence of the deformity in four patients. Nineteen patients (73%) were completely satisfied with the outcome of their surgery, seven were satisfied with reservations, and no patient was dissatisfied. Twenty five patients (96%) considered their second toe to be better than before the operation.
CONCLUSIONS: Closing wedge osteotomy of the second toe is technically simple, reasonably safe, and relatively effective for valgus deformity of the second toe. Recurrence of the second toe valgus usually was associated with recurrence of hallux valgus.