Scientific Article   |    
Macrodactyly of the Foot
Chia Hsieh Chang, MD; S. Jay Kumar, MD; Eric C. Riddle, BS; Joseph Glutting, PhD
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Investigation performed at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, Delaware

Chia Hsieh Chang, MD
Chang Gung Children's Hospital, 5 Fu-Shing Street, Kueishan, Taoyuan, Taiwan

S. Jay Kumar, MD
Eric C. Riddle, BS
Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, 1600 Rockland Road, P.O. Box 269, Wilmington, DE 19899. E-mail address for S.J. Kumar: sjaykumar@nemours.org

Joseph Glutting, PhD
University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19711

The authors did not receive grants or outside funding in support of their research or preparation of this manuscript. They did not receive payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.

J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2002 Jul 01;84(7):1189-1194
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Background: The purpose of this study was to focus on the problems associated with macrodactyly of the foot and to formulate guidelines for optimum treatment.

Methods: Seventeen feet (fifteen patients) with macrodactyly formed the basis of this retrospective review. The feet were classified into one of two groups, depending on whether the macrodactyly involved only the lesser toes (group A) or involved the great toe with or without involvement of the lesser toes (group B). Toe amputation or ray resection was usually done to reduce the length and width of the foot in group A, whereas the length of the first ray was reduced by epiphysiodesis or amputation of the phalanx in four of the five feet in group B. In both groups, soft-tissue debulking was an integral part of the treatment. The severity of the macrodactyly and the effect of treatment were documented radiographically by measurement of the so-called metatarsal spread angle. At the latest follow-up evaluation, each foot was graded with regard to pain and shoe wear.

Results: Toe amputation was performed in six of the twelve feet in group A and toe shortening was performed in two, but only three of those procedures had a good result. Ray resection was performed in five feet (as an initial or secondary procedure) in Group A, and all had a good result. The mean reduction of the metatarsal spread angle was 10.0° following resection of a single ray in Group A. In Group B, four of the five feet were rated as having only a fair result because shortening alone did not effectively reduce the size of the great toe. The macrodactyly of the great toe was not treated in the fifth foot, which also had a fair result.

Conclusions: Toe amputation, which is cosmetically unappealing, is not effective for treating macrodactyly of the lesser toes and does not address the enlargement of the forefoot. Ray resection results in the best cosmetic and functional outcomes in feet with involvement of the lesser toes. When the great toe is involved, the result is often only fair, and repeated soft-tissue debulking may be necessary.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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