Background: There remains no clear consensus on patient satisfaction and functional outcomes following synthetic cartilage implant (SCI) implantation for hallux rigidus. The purpose of this study was to review our experience at a single academic institution using an SCI for treatment of hallux rigidus. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of patients who underwent the SCI procedure for treatment of hallux rigidus between January 2017 and May 2019. Functional outcomes were evaluated using Patient-Reported Outcome Measures Informational System (PROMIS)-10 scores as well as a survey investigating patient satisfaction, self-reported clinical improvement, and changes in sporting ability. Patients were divided into satisfied versus unsatisfied subgroups, and between-group differences in preoperative variables and complications were reviewed. A total of 90 patients (96 implants) were included in this study. The mean follow-up time was 26.4 months. Results: In all, 81.2% of patients reported that their foot was “much improved” (55.2%) or “improved” (26.0%) since undergoing the SCI procedure, whereas a slightly lower percentage, 74.0%, stated that they were “extremely satisfied” (41.7%) or “satisfied” (32.3%) at final follow-up. Patients were able to tolerate higher impact sporting activities after the procedure, and 75.0% of patients stated they would have the same surgery again. PROMIS-10 T-scores averaged 54.2 points for physical health and 57.4 points for mental health. Only 2.1% of patients required conversion to arthrodesis. Significant differences between the satisfied versus unsatisfied subgroups were found in preoperative corticosteroid injection use (21.1% vs 41.1%, respectively; P =.029) and preoperative VAS pain score (8.2 vs 7.1, respectively; P =.036). Conclusion: The SCI procedure can be a viable option for treating hallux rigidus with high satisfaction overall, increased sport activity levels, and a very low revision rate. However, maximizing patient satisfaction may require more careful consideration of preoperative prognosticators and extensive patient counseling to ensure realistic expectations for recovery time and individual outcome.
- first metatarsophalangeal joint
- hallux rigidus
- synthetic cartilage implant