The Scarf osteotomy: a salvage procedure for recurrent hallux valgus in selected cases.

Research paper by Peter P Bock, Ulrich U Lanz, Andreas A Kröner, Georg G Grabmeier, Alfred A Engel

Indexed on: 25 May '10Published on: 25 May '10Published in: Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®


The Scarf osteotomy was described as a technique to correct a metatarsus primus varus in primary hallux valgus surgery, but it is unclear whether the technique could correct recurrent hallux valgus when an initial procedure failed to provide any or an adequate lateral displacement of the metatarsal head.We asked whether the Scarf osteotomy could reduce pain, improve the AOFAS score, reduce the deformity, and prevent further recurrence when used as a revision procedure.Of 41 patients (45 feet) we treated for failed initial operations, we retrospectively reviewed 35 (39 feet) who underwent a Scarf osteotomy. We administered a VAS for pain and the AOFAS score preoperatively and postoperatively. Preoperative and postoperative radiographs were taken to assess the hallux valgus angle [HVA] and intermetatarsal angle [IMA]. The minimum followup was 24 months (mean, 42 months; range, 24-89 months).The mean VAS for pain improved from 5.9 to 0.4 points. The mean AOFAS score improved from 56 to 90 points. The radiographic evaluation showed improvement of the mean HVA from 30 degrees to 8 degrees and improvement of the IMA from 13 degrees to 4 degrees. Complications included one asymptomatic recurrence with a 20 degrees -HVA, one overcorrection with a 3 degrees-varus deformity, and pain attributable to irritation caused by screws in five patients.As a revision procedure the Scarf osteotomy clinically and radiographically corrected recurrent hallux valgus recurrence in most patients.Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.