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11.01.2017 | Original Article • FOOT - HALLUX VALGUS | Ausgabe 4/2017

European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology 4/2017

Surgery of the hallux valgus in an ambulatory setting: a liability risk?

European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology > Ausgabe 4/2017
L. Galois, J.-M. Serwier, A. D. Arashvand



The primary objective of the study is to make an inventory of malpractice in hallux valgus surgery in an ambulatory setting and to identify the patient characteristics for a higher risk of malpractice. The secondary objective is creating a methodology for analyzing the medicolegal aspects of a surgery in day case comparing with hospitalization.

Materials and methods

The database of the Branchet insurance company was used. A total of 11,000 claims for a period of 11 years (2002–2013) have been investigated. The files of the patients with hallux valgus surgery were isolated from the insurer’s database using CCAM codes. The medical director, a medical officer, the legal expert and finally the judge had already analyzed all these cases. The authors reviewed the various documents with a specific questionnaire.


We identified 14 cases of claims in relation with hallux valgus 1-day surgery among a total of 138 claims for hallux valgus including all techniques (10%). All patients were female. The mean age was 42.6 years (19–64) in ambulatory patients (AG group) in comparison with 49.5 years (19–73) in hospitalized patients (HG group). Percutaneous techniques were significantly more represented in the AG group (p = 0.002) and scarfs osteotomies in the HG group (p = 0.004). The use of tourniquet seemed to be lower in the AG group, but it was a not significant trend (p = 0.085). In term of anesthesia procedures, no significant differences were seen between the two groups. The comparison of the complications common to both groups showed no significant difference except for insufficient results which were more frequent in the AG group (p = 0.026). The rate of insufficient informed consent seemed to be higher in the AG group, but it was a not significant trend (p = 0.084).

Discussion and conclusion

No specific data regarding claims in relation with hallux valgus 1-day surgery are available to our knowledge in the literature. We did not identify in our study specific complications related to ambulatory procedures except for insufficient results. Hallux valgus 1-day surgery does not seem to expose surgeons to higher medicolegal problems than classical hospitalization. Nevertheless, a specific consent form for ambulatory patients is required to limit claims regarding information.

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