Background: Along with the recent advances in the pharmacological management of rheumatoid arthritis, there is a trend toward the use of joint-preserving surgery in the treatment of rheumatoid forefoot deformities. However, the clinical outcomes of joint-preserving surgery for rheumatoid forefoot deformities have not been assessed in comparison to resection arthroplasty. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 23 feet in 17 patients with rheumatoid forefoot deformities who underwent surgery between January 2010 and December 2013. The patients included 1 male (1 foot) and 16 females (22 feet), with a mean age of 62 years. The mean length of follow-up was 28 months. The patients were treated by 3 surgeons. One surgeon performed joint-preserving procedures (JP group) to the feet in which (1) no pain with motion existed, and (2) the range of motion in the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint was greater than 30 degrees (n = 10); otherwise, resection arthroplasty with arthrodesis of the first MTP joint was performed (n = 3). The other surgeons performed resection arthroplasty in all cases (n = 10) (RA group, n = 13 in total). The clinical outcomes of the patients were evaluated using the Japanese Society for Surgery of the Foot (JSSF) hallux and lesser toe scales. Results: There were no significant differences in the preoperative total JSSF scores for either the hallux (54.5 and 61.4 points) or the lesser toe (45.2 and 57.4 points) between the RA and JP groups, respectively. Postoperatively, the total JSSF scores for both the hallux (79.4 and 88.2 points) and lesser toes (73.6 and 87.7 points) showed significant improvement in both the RA and JP groups, respectively; however, the JP group showed a greater postoperative improvement. The scores relating to the function category on the hallux scale and the alignment category on the lesser toe scale were significantly higher in the JP group. Conclusion: With regard to the function of the hallux and the alignment of the lesser toes, the joint-preserving procedures for rheumatoid forefoot deformities resulted in better clinical outcomes than resection arthroplasty.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine