Background: The degree of correction of hallux valgus deformity using a distal chevron osteotomy is reported as limited. The scarf osteotomy is reported to correct large intermetatarsal angles (IMA). The purpose of this study was to evaluate if one technique gave greater correction of the IMA and hallux valgus angle (HVA) than the other.
Methods: After informed consent, 96 feet in 83 patients were randomized into two treatment groups (49 scarf and 47 chevron osteotomies). The results were evaluated using the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Hallux Valgus Scale and radiographic HVA and IMA measurements.
Results: At 27 (range 23-31) months followup both groups improved. The AOFAS score in the chevron group improved from 48 to 89 points and in the scarf group from 47 to 91 points. In the chevron group the HVA corrected from 30 to 17 degrees, and in the scarf group the HVA corrected from 29 to 18 degrees. In both groups, the IMA was corrected from 13 to 10 degrees. The differences were not statistically significant. Three patients in the chevron group developed a partial metatarsal head necrosis. In the scarf group, four patients developed grade 1 complex regional pain syndrome compared to one patient in the chevron group.
Conclusions: No differences of statistical significance could be measured between the two groups with respect to the AOFAS score, HVA, and IMA. Although both groups showed good to excellent results, we favor the chevron osteotomy because the procedure is technically less demanding.