JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Prospective study of the treatment of adult primary hallux valgus with scarf osteotomy and soft tissue realignment.

BACKGROUND: The scarf osteotomy has been a widely practiced bunion operation, but relatively limited prospective data on its outcomes have been reported. The purpose of this investigation was to prospectively evaluate the clinical and radiographic results of treatment of adult primary hallux valgus using the scarf osteotomy of the first metatarsal with soft tissue realignment.

METHODS: Hallux valgus corrections were performed on 51 patients (53 feet), who were followed for at least 1 year with an average follow-up of 24 months. Mean age at the time of surgery was 59 years, and subjects included 3 male and 48 female patients. Prospective clinical data collected included the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) hallux-interphalangeal scale score, the SF-36 scores, and the visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain. Data were collected preoperatively and postoperatively. Prospective radiologic data were also collected including hallux valgus angle (HVA), first-second intermetatarsal angle (IMA), and medial sesamoid position (MSP). Clinical data were collected on complications and reoperations.

RESULTS: Mean AOFAS hallux-interphalangeal score increased from 52 preoperatively to 88 postoperatively. Mean preoperative and last follow-up SF-36 physical component summary increased from 46 preoperatively to 52 postoperatively, whereas mean VAS pain scores decreased from 5.8 preoperatively to 1.1 postoperatively. All the changes in clinical outcomes were statistically significant, except the Mental Component Summary of the SF-36. Mean preoperative HVA decreased from 29 degrees preoperatively to 10.7 degrees in the initial postoperative period and was maintained at last follow-up at 10.6 degrees. The mean preoperative IMA decreased from 13.6 degrees preoperatively to 5.6 degrees in the initial postoperative period and regressed mildly at last follow-up to 7.8 degrees. The mean preoperative MSP grade of 2.3 decreased to 0.5 in the initial postoperative period and regressed mildly to 0.9 at last follow-up. All radiographic changes were statistically significant. The overall complication rate was 15% (8/53), attributable to 4 feet with symptomatic hardware, 2 feet with hallux varus, and 2 feet with progression of first MTP arthritis. Reoperations were performed in 4 feet (8%) for removal of symptomatic hardware.

CONCLUSION: Scarf osteotomy was a reliable technique for correction of moderate to severe hallux valgus and had low rates of complication or recurrence.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, case series.

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