shaft base osteotomy

Shaft Base Osteotomy in Podiatry

In the field of podiatry, one surgical procedure that is commonly performed is shaft base osteotomy. This article will provide an overview of what shaft base osteotomy is, its benefits, indications, preparation, procedure details, recovery, potential risks and complications.


Shaft base osteotomy is a surgical procedure that is performed to correct deformities and structural abnormalities in the foot. It is often used to treat conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, and metatarsalgia.

What is Shaft Base Osteotomy?

Shaft base osteotomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting and realigning the bone at the base of the metatarsal or phalangeal shaft. This helps to correct deformities and improve the overall function of the foot.


Shaft base osteotomy is a surgical procedure where the bone at the base of the metatarsal or phalangeal shaft is cut and realigned to correct deformities and improve foot function.


The main benefit of shaft base osteotomy is the correction of foot deformities, which can alleviate pain, improve mobility, and restore proper alignment. This procedure can also help prevent the progression of deformities and reduce the risk of future complications.


Shaft base osteotomy is indicated for patients with various foot conditions, including bunions, hammertoes, metatarsalgia, and other structural abnormalities. It is suitable for individuals who have not responded to conservative treatments or whose condition has progressed to a point where surgical intervention is necessary.

Preparation for Shaft Base Osteotomy

Medical Evaluation

Prior to undergoing shaft base osteotomy, patients will undergo a thorough medical evaluation to assess their overall health and determine if they are suitable candidates for the procedure. This evaluation may include a review of medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests.


Imaging techniques such as X-rays or MRI scans may be performed to evaluate the extent of the deformity and assist in planning the surgical approach. These images help the surgeon visualize the bone structure and plan the osteotomy accordingly.


Shaft base osteotomy is typically performed under local anesthesia with sedation. The type and dosage of anesthesia will be determined by the surgeon based on the patient’s individual needs and preferences.

Procedure Details

Incision and Access

The procedure begins with the surgeon making a small incision near the site of the deformity. This incision provides access to the bone, allowing the surgeon to perform the osteotomy.

Osteotomy Technique

During the osteotomy, the surgeon carefully cuts the bone at the base of the metatarsal or phalangeal shaft. The bone is then realigned to the desired position, correcting the deformity. In some cases, additional bone removal or reshaping may be necessary to achieve optimal results.

Realignment and Fixation

After the bone has been realigned, it is held in place using specialized screws, plates, or wires. These fixation devices provide stability and support during the healing process.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Post-Operative Care

Following shaft base osteotomy, patients will be given specific instructions on post-operative care. This may include keeping the foot elevated, applying ice packs, and taking prescribed medications to manage pain and prevent infection.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often recommended to help patients regain strength, flexibility, and mobility in the foot. The therapist will create a customized rehabilitation program that may include exercises, stretches, and other modalities to facilitate healing and improve function.

Expected Results

The expected results of shaft base osteotomy include improved foot alignment, reduced pain, and enhanced mobility. Patients can expect to resume normal activities gradually, with full recovery typically taking several weeks to months, depending on the extent of the surgery and individual healing capabilities.

Potential Risks and Complications


As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. Patients are advised to keep the surgical site clean and follow the surgeon’s instructions on wound care to minimize the risk of infection. If signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or increased pain, occur, it is important to seek medical attention promptly.

Nerve Damage

During shaft base osteotomy, there is a small risk of nerve damage. This can result in numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation in the affected area. Most nerve injuries are temporary and resolve over time, but in rare cases, permanent damage may occur.

Delayed Healing

In some cases, the bone may take longer than expected to heal properly. Factors such as poor blood supply, smoking, or certain medical conditions can contribute to delayed healing. Patients should follow the surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care and attend follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process.


Shaft base osteotomy is a surgical procedure commonly performed in podiatry to correct foot deformities and improve function. It offers several benefits, including pain relief, improved mobility, and prevention of future complications. While it is generally a safe procedure, there are potential risks and complications that patients should be aware of. With proper preparation, expert surgical technique, and appropriate post-operative care, shaft base osteotomy can provide successful outcomes and help patients regain their quality of life.

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shaft base osteotomy