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Scarf & Akin Osteotomy – Bunion Surgery

Date published: 2023-06-22

Does my Bunion need Surgery?

Typically a Bunion is treated non-surgically, especially if the Bunion is at an early stage and not yet very painful or impacting on daily activities. These non-surgical treatments tend to focus on alleviating symptoms and preventing a fast progression of the deformity. They can be very effective and may include:

  • Larger, more accommodative shoes

  • Protective cushioning

  • Toe-Spacers and splints

  • Bespoke orthotics

However, at this point in time the only way to fully correct the deformity and realign the toe is with surgery. As a result, people may opt for surgery as a permanent treatment for their Bunions. A surgeon or other specialist may also recommend surgery if the symptoms are particularly severe or debilitating.

There is no hard and fast rule as to whether surgery is the best treatment option for your Bunion. There are many factors to consider, which would include:

  • Level of symptoms

  • Impact on daily activities and quality of life

  • The particular context of how Bunions affect your life

  • Any other health conditions that you suffer from, which may affect your eligibility for the surgery

What is a Scarf and Akin Osteotomy?

When surgery is advised there are many procedure types that your surgeon will consider before recommending the procedure that will offer you the best outcomes.

A Scarf osteotomy (often performed alongside an Akin osteotomy), is one of the most popular types of Bunion surgery. This is largely because it restores foot mechanics, allows for excellent motion of the joint and has very low recurrence rates.

The procedure takes place over 5 stages:

  • Tight ligaments on the other side of the Bunion are released

  • The Bunion is shaved

  • Metatarsal bone is cut and joint is realigned, then screwed in place

  • A small wedge is removed from the phalanx to straighten the end of the toe (Akin Osteotomy)

  • The phalanx is fixed together where the wedge has been removed, promoting a correct alignment of the toe

None of the implants that are used to fix the bones in place need to be removed.

Is a Scarf and Akin Osteotomy Worth it?

A Scarf and Akin osteotomy is a very successful surgery and the outcomes and recovery are typically predictable, as long as postoperative advice is followed. Studies have found:

  • 94% of patients were satisfied with the surgical outcomes

  • 86% of patients experience no footwear restrictions

  • 92% of patients experience no activity restrictions postoperatively

  • 96% of patients were better than before surgery

However, determining what kind of procedure or whether surgery is worth it in your specific case is a complex calculation and many factors need to be considered. It is best to seek an expert opinion and advice.

If you would like more information, or would like to schedule a consultation, contact our team on:

Tel: 0207 820 8007 | Email: admin@bunionsurgeon.co.uk | Address: 17 Harley Street, London, W1G 9QH