Congenital or acquired shortness of a metatarsal may cause pain in adjacent metatarsals. From 1983 to 1990, we performed nine metatarsal lengthenings in seven adolescent patients by metaphyseal osteotomy followed by gradual distraction of callus (callotasis). Two patients required bone grafts after the lengthening. We used a rigid, unilateral external fixator designed for use in the hand and foot. At follow-up, from three to ten years later, healing had been achieved in all with an average healing index of 50 days/cm, and metatarsalgia had been relieved by the restoration of correct metatarsal length.
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