Surgical treatment of hallux valgus (HV) is one of the major flagships of orthopedic surgeons. Due to relatively unsatisfactory radiological and clinical outcomes, the search for the best surgical technique and causes for unsatisfactory outcomes continues. The objective was to investigate associations of the number of screws and additional surgical techniques for HV with radiological and clinical outcome after reversed L-shaped osteotomy (ReveL).
A retrospective cohort study of adults from a single University Hospital between 2004 and 2013 was performed. The primary exposure was the number of screws (one vs two) used for osseous fixation after ReveL. The secondary exposure was an additional surgical technique for HV (e.g., Akin osteotomy). The primary outcome was a radiological recurrence of HV (HV angle (HVA) > 15°) at last follow-up. The secondary outcomes were limited patient satisfaction, complication, revision surgery, and elective hardware removal. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were estimated by logistic regression adjusting for confounders.
The recurrence was 45% less likely with the use of one screw, independent of age, sex, additional technique, and preoperative HVA (odds ratio (ORadjusted) = 0.55 [95% CI 0.30–0.98], p = 0.043). The recurrence was 162% more likely with an additional surgical technique for HV (ORadjusted = 2.62 [1.24–5.52], p = 0.011).
In ReveL for HV, a single screw (instead of two screws) may be sufficient enough for a similar or even better outcome, which may also reduce costs. Additional surgical procedures for HV may be refrained from if possible. Due to limitations of a retrospective study, results may need validation with clinical trials.