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Diabetic foot infections tend to lead to amputation. Partial first-ray resections are used to help salvage the foot and maintain bipedal ambulation. Losing the first metatarsophalangeal joint has biomechanical consequences that lead to further foot deformities and result in more proximal amputations of the ipsilateral limb, such as a transmetatarsal amputation.
We reviewed 48 patients (32 male and 16 female; mean age = 62.44) who underwent 50 partial first-ray resections between April 1, 2003, and July 31, 2009. These partial first-ray resections were done at various levels of the first metatarsal. We hypothesize that partial first-ray resections that require further bone resection will lead to poor biomechanics that can result in further amputation.
We found that out of 50 partial first-ray resections, 24 cases required further surgical intervention, 12 of which were a transmetatarsal amputation (TMA) (mean time between partial first-ray resection and TMA = 282.08 days). Forty-eight percent of patients did not require further surgical intervention and were considered a success.
Partial first-ray resections are not highly successful. Our study found a higher success rate compared to a previous study done by Cohen et al in 1991. Partial first-ray amputations can be a good initial procedure to salvage the foot and prolong a patient’s bipedal ambulatory status, thereby lowering the patient’s morbidity and mortality. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 102(5): 412–416, 2012)