Screw versus plate fixation of proximal first metatarsal crescentic osteotomy

Kevin E. Varner, Victoria Matt, Jerry W. Alexander, James D. Johnston, Shiraz Younas, John V. Marymont, Philip C. Noble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Hallux valgus associated with metatarus primus varus is a deformity that disrupts normal foot function. Standard treatment has often included distal or proximal metatarsal osteotomy with or without a distal soft tissue procedure. The intrinsically unstable proximal crescentic osteotomy relies on operative fixation for stability. This study examined the strength of fixation of a single screw versus a plate for stabilization of proximal first metatarsal crescentic osteotomies for correction of hallux valgus. Materials and Methods: A crescentic osteotomy was performed on nine pairs of fresh/frozen cadaveric feet. The distal fragment was rotated laterally and the osteotomy was temporarily stabilized with a Kirschner wire. The osteotomized metatarsal fragments were fixed with a cancellous screw on one side and single plate on the contralateral side. Each specimen was loaded in a mechanical testing machine, and its response was measured by monitoring the opening of the osteotomy and change in alignment of the fragments. Position and alignment of the proximal and distal fragments were calculated. Results: All of the measures of fixation strength were statistically greater in specimens treated with a plate rather than with screw fixation. Plate fixation provided approximately twice the resistance to disruption of the osteotomy under cyclic loading conditions. Conclusion: The dorsal plate is biomechanically more stable than a single cancellous screw when applied to proximal crescentic osteotomies. Clinical Relevance: The greater stability of the plate construct may be helpful in selecting the fixation device for these osteotomies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-149
Number of pages8
JournalFoot and Ankle International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Hallux valgus
  • Metatarus primus varus
  • Proximal first metatarsal crescentic osteotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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