Howard J. HillstromDirector, Gait Study Center, and Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedics and Medicine, Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia, PA; Visiting Assistant Research Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Science Institute, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. Mailing address:Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Eighth at Race St, Philadelphia, PA 19107.
The proximal interphalangeal joint arthrodesis is frequently performed to correct hammer toe deformities. This study was conducted to compare the inherent stability of the three proximal interphalangeal joint arthrodeses—peg-in-hole, end-to-end, and V constructs—in the sagittal plane by means of load-to-failure testing of 30 fresh-frozen cadaveric specimens fixated with a 0.045 Kirschner wire. The peg-in-hole construct was associated with significantly higher peak loads at failure compared with the other two procedures. Furthermore, the peg-in-hole construct had significantly higher stiffness values as compared with the V procedure. This study thus provides evidence that the peg-in-hole procedure is the most biomechanically stable surgical construct for proximal interphalangeal joint fusions under sagittal plane loading. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 91(2): 63-67, 2001)