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Lateral Collateral Ligament Repair for Hallux Metatarsophalangeal Joint Instability in a Collegiate Sumo Wrestler: A Case Report

Sadanori Shimizu MD, PhD, Tetsuya Sato MD, PhD, Tomohiko Tateishi MD, PhD, Tsuyoshi Nagase MD, PhD, Teruhiko Nakagawa MD, PhD, and Masamitsu Tsuchiya MD, PhD
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Although sprains of the hallux metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint ligaments occur in barefooted martial arts athletes, few studies discuss the surgical treatments for lateral collateral ligament damage. We report herein a case of lateral collateral ligament repair for chronic hallux MTP joint instability. A 21-year-old male collegiate sumo wrestler injured his left hallux by snagging it on a sumo straw bale at 14 years of age. After entering university (4 years after the injury), he could no longer put weight on his foot at the left hallux; his athletic performance deteriorated, and he was referred to our department by his doctor. He had instability in the MTP joint of the left hallux, and magnetic resonance imaging revealed a tear in the attachment of the lateral collateral ligament to the metatarsal bone. Conservative treatment, such as taping, did not improve the symptoms; thus, surgery was performed, which consisted of passing a strong suture attached to the capsular ligament through a burr hole made in the metatarsal bone and fixing it to the burr-hole wall using an anchor. Postoperatively, the patient's joint instability improved, and he returned to competitive wrestling 4 months after surgery. He was able to put weight on his left hallux, and his athletic performance improved. The follow-up period after surgery was 2 years. In competitive sumo wrestling, hallux weakness and joint instability lead to a significant reduction in performance. Thus, ligament repair is an effective treatment for hallux MTP joint instability that cannot be treated by conservative means.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine Center, The Fraternity Memorial Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.

Corresponding author: Sadanori Shimizu, MD, PhD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Arthroscopy and Sports Medicine Center, The Fraternity Memorial Hospital, 2-1-11 Yokoami, Sumida-ku, Tokyo 130-8587, Japan. (E-mail: sadanorishimizu@jcom.home.ne.jp)