In the modern treatment of Charcot neuroarthropathy, beam screw fixation is an alternative to plate and screw fixation. Exposure is minimized for implantation, and this technique supports the longitudinal columns of the foot as a rigid load-sharing construct. A published data review identified a paucity of data regarding metatarsal intramedullary canal morphology relevant to beam screw fixation. The purpose of the present study was to describe metatarsal diaphyseal morphology qualitatively and quantitatively in an effort to provide data that can be used by surgeons when selecting axially based intramedullary fixation. Twenty fresh-frozen cadaveric below-the-knee specimens were obtained. The metatarsals were exposed, cleaned of soft tissue, and axially transected at the point of the narrowest external diameter. Next, a digital caliper was used to measure the size and shape of the diaphysis of the first through fourth metatarsals. The diaphyseal canal shape was categorized as round, oval, triangular, or pear. The widest distance between the endosteal cortical surfaces was measured. Triangular endosteal canals were only found in the first metatarsal, and the remainder of the metatarsal canals were largely round or oval. These data help to approximate the size of fixation needed to achieve maximal screw–endosteal purchase.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine