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A Novel Technique for Soft-Tissue Defect Repair After Traumatic Rupture of the Extensor Hallucis Longus Tendon

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Background

Surgical repair of extensor hallucis longus (EHL) tendon rupture with a concomitant capsular defect has not been reported in the literature. This case presents a novel approach to EHL tendon rupture repair along with repair of a first metatarsophalangeal joint capsule defect.

Methods

A case study is presented of a 61-year-old man with a traumatic EHL tendon rupture and capsular defect treated with an EHL tendon turndown flap and tenodesis to the extensor hallucis brevis and capsularis tendons with autograft flap reconstruction of the first metatarsophalangeal joint capsule.

Discussion

A 61-year-old man presented with an acute traumatic EHL tendon rupture and first metatarsophalangeal joint capsule compromise after a chainsaw injury. He subsequently lost dorsiflexion of his hallux, and magnetic resonance imaging confirmed a 2.2-cm gap in the EHL tendon. He was treated with an EHL tendon turndown flap and tenodesis to the extensor hallucis brevis and capsularis tendons to reestablish dorsiflexion to the hallux. The injury was noted to infiltrate the first metatarsophalangeal joint capsule and was treated with an autograft of the first metatarsophalangeal joint capsule for a capsular defect. At 1-year follow-up the patient has regained dorsiflexion of the hallux and is back to activities such as snow skiing without pain.

Conclusions

Ruptures of the EHL tendon with first metatarsophalangeal joint capsule defects have not been reported in the literature. Herein, a novel approach was used to reestablish physiologic function to the EHL tendon and provide sufficient coverage of the first metatarsophalangeal joint.

Geisinger Health System, Scranton, PA.

Corresponding author: William Clark, DPM, Geisinger Health System, 1800 Mulberry St, Scranton, PA 18510. (E-mail: waclark1@geisinger.edu)