Aim: To describe the surgical technique for gradual lengthening of the metatarsal using the Orthofix MiniRail System (Orthofix Medical Inc., Lewisville, TX, USA).
Background: Brachymetatarsia refers to the shortening of the metatarsal bone. When indicated, metatarsal lengthening is performed to treat this deformity.
Technique: A dorsal approach to the short metatarsal is performed, protecting the neurovascular structures and the extensor tendons. The most proximal wire or screw is inserted first, followed by the most distal wire or screw. The distal wire or screw should not be inserted in the metatarsal head. The middle wires or screws are inserted thereafter. All wires or screws should be placed perpendicular to the anatomic axis of the bone. Once the MiniRail lengthener is assembled, a 1.6 mm K-wire is inserted from the tip of the toe into the metatarsal head, blocking the motion of the metatarsophalangeal joint and avoiding joint subluxation during lengthening. The osteotomy is then performed perpendicular to the metatarsal shaft, in between the middle two wires and screws.
Conclusion: The surgical technique for gradual lengthening of the metatarsal using the Orthofix MiniRail System was described in detail with accompanying step-by-step intraoperative clinical and fluoroscopic images.
Clinical significance: This surgical technique of metatarsal lengthening is simple and effective. An understanding of the surgical technique of gradual lengthening of the metatarsal bone is important when treating shorting deformities of more than 1 cm.
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