header advert
You currently have no access to view or download this content. Please log in with your institutional or personal account if you should have access to through either of these
The Bone & Joint Journal Logo

Receive monthly Table of Contents alerts from The Bone & Joint Journal

Comprehensive article alerts can be set up and managed through your account settings

View my account settings

Get Access locked padlock

Foot & Ankle

The use of a syndesmosis procedure for the treatment of hallux valgus

Good clinical and radiological results two years post-operatively

Download PDF


Metatarsus primus varus deformity correction is one of the main objectives in hallux valgus surgery. A ‘syndesmosis’ procedure may be used to correct hallux valgus. An osteotomy is not involved. The aim is to realign the first metatarsal using soft tissues and a cerclage wire around the necks of the first and second metatarsals.

We have retrospectively assessed 27 patients (54 feet) using the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score, radiographs and measurements of the plantar pressures after bilateral syndesmosis procedures. There were 26 women. The mean age of the patients was 46 years (18 to 70) and the mean follow-up was 26.4 months (24 to 33.4). Matched-pair comparisons of the AOFAS scores, the radiological parameters and the plantar pressure measurements were conducted pre- and post-operatively, with the mean of the left and right feet. The mean AOFAS score improved from 62.8 to 94.4 points (p < 0.001). Significant differences were found on all radiological parameters (p < 0.001). The mean hallux valgus and first intermetatarsal angles were reduced from 33.2° (24.3° to 49.8°) to 19.1° (10.1° to 45.3°) (p < 0.001) and from 15.0° (10.2° to 18.6°) to 7.2° (4.2° to 11.4°) (p < 0.001) respectively. The mean medial sesamoid position changed from 6.3(4.5 to 7) to 3.6 (2 to 7) (p < 0.001) according to the Hardy’s scale (0 to 7). The mean maximum force and the force–time integral under the hallux region were significantly increased by 71.1% (p = 0.001), (20.57 (0.08 to 58.3) to 35.20 (6.63 to 67.48)) and 73.4% (p = 0.014), (4.44 (0.00 to 22.74) to 7.70 (1.28 to 19.23)) respectively. The occurrence of the maximum force under the hallux region was delayed by 11% (p = 0.02), (87.3% stance (36.3% to 100%) to 96.8% stance (93.0% to 100%)). The force data reflected the restoration of the function of the hallux. Three patients suffered a stress fracture of the neck of the second metatarsal. The short-term results of this surgical procedure for the treatment of hallux valgus are satisfactory.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:502–7.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr A. K.L. Leung; e-mail:

For access options please click here