BACKGROUND: Clinical management of chronic plantar ulcers is a difficult issue in medical practice. Pressure overloading is a problem that needs to be resolved. Herein, we report a surgical method to reduce plantar pressure: a dorsal approach to a metatarsal ostectomy. METHODS: From March 2011 to October 2016, 16 patients suffering from chronic plantar ulcers underwent ostectomy procedures at Taipei Wan-Fang Municipal Hospital (Taipei Medical University). A bone segment about 0.5 to 1 cm long was removed via a dorsal foot approach. The plantar wound was treated with debridement only or was simultaneously covered with a skin graft. In total, 16 patients with an average age of 57.81 (SD, 11.6) years (12 males and 4 females) were included; 15 patients (93.75%) had a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes for a mean of 20.66 years (range, 5-30 years). The mean glycated hemoglobin was 9.14 g/dL (range, 5.2-13.2 g/dL). The mean plantar wound size was 5.72 cm. Four patients (25%) needed to receive a skin graft with a mean skin graft size of 8.13 cm. RESULTS: The mean follow-up time was 15.2 months. The plantar wounds completely healed in 14 patients (87.5%) in an average of 2.14 months. No plantar ulcer was complicated with recurrence, but transfer ulcers developed in 2 patients (12.5%) at an average of 7.5 months postoperatively. CONCLUSIONS: Metatarsal ostectomy surgery via a dorsal foot approach is an efficient way to reduce pressure overloading of chronic plantar wounds. Our study provides an alternative method to treat this difficult problem with a high wound healing rate and less recurrence.
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