Incomplete reduction of the sesamoid is a known risk factor for recurrence of the deformity after scarf osteotomy for correction of hallux valgus. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether a learning curve exists for successfully restoring the sesamoid position in scarf osteotomy. We reviewed 71 consecutive cases (71 feet) of scarf osteotomy performed on female patients during a 2.5-year period by the same surgeon. The cases were divided into 3 groups according to the date of surgery, with the first 24 cases assigned to group 1, the next 24 to group 2, and the last 23 to group 3. We compared the median sesamoid position of the 3 groups at 6 weeks postoperatively and patient reported satisfaction at 6 months postoperatively. The sesamoid position ranged from 1 to 7, using the Hardy and Clapham classification system. The median sesamoid position for all patients had improved from 7 preoperatively to 2 postoperatively. The postoperative sesamoid position was significantly better for the second and third groups than for the first (p < .05), and 92% of the patients were satisfied with the procedure. We have concluded that a learning curve to optimally restoring the position of the sesamoid in scarf osteotomy is present and that this has a direct effect on reducing the risk of recurrence of the deformity.
Keywords: hallux valgus; metatarsal osteotomy; surgery; tibial sesamoid position.
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