Background: Minimally invasive techniques for hallux valgus have been widely used to treat mild to moderate hallux valgus deformities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiographic outcomes of distal linear metatarsal osteotomy (DLMO), which is one of the minimally invasive techniques, for severe hallux valgus. Methods: 95 patients (141 feet) with severe hallux valgus underwent DLMOs. Lateral soft tissue release (LSTR) was performed at the same time for the cases selected by an original manual test. The satisfaction level, the Japanese Society of Surgery of the Foot (JSSF) hallux scale score, and weight-bearing radiographs of the foot were assessed preoperatively and after more than 24 months. In addition, the clinical and radiographic outcomes were compared among three groups divided by the kind of LSTR: no LSTR; manual correction; and open release through skin incision. Results: Although the first metatarsal bone was significantly shortened, dorsiflexed, and elevated on postoperative radiographs, the rate of satisfaction was 87.2% (123/141), and the mean JSSF hallux scale score improved significantly from 60.4 (44–73) to 90.4 (65–100). The mean hallux valgus and intermetatarsal angles also improved significantly from 45.5° (40.0–60.0°) to 10.3° (−28.0–40.9°) and from 19.9° (14.0–28.7°) to 8.3° (−1.6–18.5°), respectively. Delayed union (18 feet), metatarsalgia (16 feet), recurrence (22 feet), and hallux varus (22 feet) were observed, and they were more obvious in DLMO combined with open release through a skin incision. Conclusions: DLMO combined selectively with LSTR is an effective procedure for correcting severe hallux valgus. However, the indication for open release with DLMO should be considered carefully.
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