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arthrodesis, arthroplasty, diabetic foot, diabetic foot ulcer, digital deformity, forefoot



  1. Tardaguila-Garcia, Aroa DPM, PhD
  2. Sanz-Corbalan, Irene DPM, PhD
  3. Lopez-Moral, Mateo DPM, PhD
  4. Garcia-Madrid, Marta DPM
  5. Garcia-Morales, Esther DPM, PhD
  6. Lazaro-Martinez, Jose Luis DPM, PhD


OBJECTIVE: To analyze and compare the development of short- and long-term complications in patients with diabetic foot after digital arthroplasty or arthrodesis.


METHODS: The authors reviewed patient records from January 2017 to March 2020. Patients were treated by digital arthroplasty or arthrodesis to correct toe deformity (elective or prophylactic surgery), achieve ulcer healing in toes (curative surgery), or manage toe infection (emergent surgery). During 1-year follow-up, researchers registered short- and long-term complications. Researchers analyzed the association between the type of surgery and the development of short- and long-term complications.


RESULTS: Forty-four patients (83.0%) received arthroplasty, and nine (17.0%) received arthrodesis. The mean time to heal from ulcers was 5.2 +/- 5.2 weeks. A significant association was observed between arthrodesis and the development of long-term complications (P = .044; odds ratio, 5.1; 95% confidence interval, 0.9-27.2). No differences were observed between type of surgery and short- or long-term complications. Moreover, both short- and long-term complications were related to longer time to heal (respectively, 7.6 +/- 6.0 vs 2.1 +/- 0.5 weeks, P < .001; and 6.3 +/- 6.2 vs 4.2 +/- 4.0 weeks, P = .039).


CONCLUSIONS: Digital arthroplasty or arthrodesis are good options for managing patients with diabetic foot who require digital deformity correction to achieve digital ulcer healing or management of diabetic foot infection in phalanges.