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Correction of tailor's bunion with the Boesch technique: a retrospective study.

BACKGROUND: The Boesch technique(1,2) is a minimally-invasive and time-saving subcutaneous subcapital metatarsal osteotomy. Since 1984, we have been using this osteotomy technique for patients with a symptomatic tailor's bunion in whom conservative treatment has failed. This distal osteotomy is stabilized by a combination of a Kirschner wire and a special dressing. The results of this technique in patients with symptomatic tailor's bunion were reviewed.

METHODS: Between March, 1998, and June, 2002, surgery was done in 77 feet of 65 patients with a mean age of 64.6 years. The mean followup was 56.6 (range 14 to 79) months. The 100-point American Orthopaedic foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Lesser Metatarsophalangeal-Interphalangeal Scale was used for scoring.

RESULTS: 86.4% of 57 patients (66 feet) were free of pain at final followup. The mean 4-5 intermetatarsal angle was 12 degrees before and 8 degrees after surgery. The mean lateral deviation of the fifth metatarsal was 5.7 degrees before and 5.1 degrees after surgery. The mean fifth metatarsophalangeal angle was 17.8 degrees before and 6.2 degrees after surgery. The mean preoperative 100-point AOFAS score was 59.1 (range 23 to 88) and the postoperative score, 95.2 (range 73 to 100). The overall results were excellent in 87.9%, (58 feet) good in 6.1% (4 feet), and satisfactory in 6.1%; none was poor.

CONCLUSIONS: The advantages of the subcutaneous subcapital Boesch technique are that it is time saving, it causes less bone and soft-tissue trauma, and it is performed under local anesthesia without a tourniquet. It is an effective operative option for symptomatic tailor's bunion; excellent and good clinical and radiographic results were found in 86.4% (57 patients, 66 feet) of the patients.

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