Is the SERI Osteotomy for Hallux Valgus Reliable?

This is one to steer clear of.

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Smart Practice: The “Simple Easy Reliable Inexpensive” (SERI) osteotomy for hallux valgus sounds too good to be true, and we think it may be; you’re better off using an alternative.

What’s the Claim?

This is one of those “heads up” posts — you probably saw this article, but we are covering it because we don’t think its main findings are reliable.

A large case series of patients with severe hallux valgus (hallux valgus angle ≥40° or IMA of ≥16°), a reducible deformity (passive correction of the MTPJ of ≥50% was possible), and little or no arthritis of that joint evaluated the so-called “simple, effective, rapid, inexpensive (SERI)” osteotomy, and claimed:

  • Improved AOFAS scores (45 ± 17 to 89 ± 10)
  • Decreased pain (7 ± 2 to 1.5 ± 1.5 on the VAS scale)
  • Nice alignment results (HVA improved from 41° ± 7° to 16° ± 7° and IMS decreased from 15° ± 3 to 7° ± 2)

(Here is the original description of the SERI osteotomy, freely available in full-text form).

How’s It Stack Up?

CORRelations’ advisor in Foot & Ankle, Greg Guyton, MD, says: