Scarf versus Chevron Osteotomy for the Correction of 1–2 Intermetatarsal Angle in Hallux Valgus: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • The chevron and scarf osteotomies are commonly used for the surgical management of hallux valgus (HV). However, there is debate as to whether one osteotomy provides more 1-2 intermetatarsal (1-2 IMA) correction than the other. The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to compare the effectiveness of 3 types of first metatarsal osteotomy for reducing the 1-2 IMA in HV correction: the chevron osteotomy, the long plantar arm (modified) chevron osteotomy, and the scarf osteotomy. A systematic search for eligible studies was performed of the following databases: Medline, Embase (Ovid), CINAHL (EBSCO Host), and The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Clinical Trials. Only English-language studies previous to May 2010 were included in the review. Additional hand and electronic content searches of relevant foot and orthopaedic journals were performed. Criteria for inclusion in this analysis included systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials, prospective and retrospective cohort studies, and case-control studies, as well as case-series studies involving the chevron, scarf, or long plantar arm chevron osteotomy of >20 participants with a minimum of 80% follow-up. Quality of evidence of the included studies was assessed with the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system. All pooled analyses were based on a fixed effects model. There was a total of 1351 participants who underwent either a chevron (n = 1028), scarf (n = 300), or long plantar arm chevron osteotomy (n = 23). Only one study for the long plantar arm chevron group fitted the eligibility criteria for this review; however, it was not amenable to meta-analysis. The chevron osteotomy was associated with a mean reduction of 1-2 IMA from preoperative to postoperative of 5.33° (95% confidence interval, 5.12 to 5.54, p < .001), and the scarf osteotomy was associated with a mean reduction of 6.21° (95% confidence interval, 5.70 to 6.72, p < .001). There was a statistically significant 0.88° increase in the correction of the 1-2 IMA in favor of the scarf osteotomy compared with the chevron osteotomy. The studies included in this review were of very low- to low-quality evidence. Our findings indicate that the scarf osteotomy provides greater correction of the 1-2 IMA when used for HV correction. However, only a weak recommendation in favor of the scarf osteotomy can be made based on the low quality of evidence of the studies included in this analysis.

publication date

  • July 2012