Aims: The purpose of this study was to analyse the biomechanics of walking, through the ground reaction forces (GRF) measured, after first metatarsal osteotomy or metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) arthrodesis.
Patients and methods: A total of 19 patients underwent a Scarf osteotomy (50.3 years, standard deviation (sd) 12.3) and 18 underwent an arthrodesis (56.2 years, sd 6.5). Clinical and radiographical data as well as the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) scores were determined. GRF were measured using an instrumented treadmill. A two-way model of analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine the effects of surgery on biomechanical parameters of walking, particularly propulsion.
Results: Epidemiological, radiographical and clinical data were comparable in the two groups and better restoration of propulsive function was found after osteotomy as shown by ANOVA (two way: surgery × foot) with a surgery effect on vertical forces (p < 0.01) and a foot effect on anteroposterior impulse (p = 0.01).
Conclusion: Patients who underwent Scarf osteotomy had a gait pattern similar to that of their non-operated foot, whereas those who underwent arthrodesis of the first (metatarsophalangeal) MTP joint did not totally recover the propulsive forces of the forefoot.
Take home message: The main findings of this study were that after surgical correction for hallux valgus, patients who underwent scarf osteotomy had a gait pattern similar to that of their non-operated foot in terms of forefoot propulsive forces (Fz3, Iy2), whereas those who underwent arthrodesis of the first MTP joint had not. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2016;98-B:641-6.
Keywords: Ground reaction forces; Scarf osteotomy; first metatarsophalangeal arthrodesis; hallux valgus; treadmill ergometer.
©2016 The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery.