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Lesser metatarsal pathology is difficult to treat surgically. The shortening osteotomy has shown promise as a useful technique. The following objectives are addressed in this study: 1) to discuss present techniques and two new radiographic measurement systems; 2) to establish mean, standard deviation, and normal range values for these measurement systems; 3) to determine if these measurements vary with foot size; and 4) to use the results to establish general guidelines for metatarsal parabola reconstruction. Means and normal ranges for the various radiographic measurements are identified to help the surgeon with preoperative evaluation and planning. The measurements vary mildly with foot size.