European Journal of Anatomy

Official Journal of The Spanish Society of Anatomy
Cover Volume 14 - Number 1
Eur J Anat, 14 (1): 11-18 (2010)

Morphometric analysis of the extensor tendons of the hallux and potential implications for tendon grafting

Diogo Casal1,2, Diogo Pais1, Maria Angélica-Almeida2, Tiago Bilhim1, António Santos1, João Goyri-O??Neill1

1Anatomy Department; Medical Sciences Faculty, New University of Lisbon, Portugal, 2Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Department, São José Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal

ABSTRACT Although several tendon sources are available for reconstructive surgical procedures, all have one or more shortcomings. The aim of this work was to evaluate if the extensor tendons of the hallux showed anatomical characteristics that could make them an additional source for tendon grafting procedures.The authors performed a detailed morphometric analysis of the extensor tendons of the hallux in 26 lower limbs in order to evaluate the putative association of anatomical variants with hallux valgus, and to attempt to assess the feasibility of using part of the extensor apparatus of the hallux as a source of tendon for grafting procedures.An accessory extensor hallucis longus ten-don was found in 92.3% of cases. The extensor hallucis brevis tendon length was 10.5 ± 0.6 cm; its width was 0.5 ± 0.1 cm, and its thickness varied between 1-2 mm, making it a potentially good candidate as a source of ten-don grafts. Several anatomical variations were observed, namely the fusion of the tendons of the extensor hallucis brevis and the accessory extensor hallucis longus muscles in the distal part of the foot.This new therapeutic option, if implemented, would possibly increase the supply of autogenous donor tissue for reconstructive procedures, thereby enhancing the reconstructive surgeon??s armamentarium.

Keywords: Extensor hallucis longus, Extensor hallucis brevis, Variation, Tendon injuries, Tissue graft

European Journal of anatomy
ISSN 2340-311X (Online)