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The Cotton Osteotomy as an Adjunct Procedure in Hallux Valgus and Hallux Limitus Surgery

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  • 1 Medical Service Corps, Naval Hospital Bremerton, Bremerton, WA.
  • | 2 Medical Service Corps, Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune, Camp Lejune, NC.
  • | 3 Jerry L. Pettis Memorial Veterans Hospital, Loma Linda, CA.
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The Cotton osteotomy, as described in 1936 by Frederic Cotton, consisted of a medial cuneiform opening base wedge osteotomy. This Cotton osteotomy served to restore the “triangle of support” of the foot. In his address to the New England Surgical Society, he described this osteotomy as being multipurpose; it can be used for plantarflexion in hallux valgus surgery and has use in hallux rigidus conditions. Since its inception, the procedure has become a popular adjunct to aid in the restoration of the medial column deformity present in pes planus. Recently, there has been renewed interest in the use of the procedure to aid in the correction of deformities involving metatarsus primus elevatus, specifically, hallux valgus and hallux limitus. The advantage of the use of this procedure as opposed to others is that it allows for the preservation and/or restoration of first ray length and the preservation of motion at the medial column. In retrospective review, the authors evaluated seven cases with a 1-year follow-up. In this series of cases, the Cotton osteotomy was performed as an adjunct to common hallux valgus procedures or hallux limitus corrections. Radiographic review was also performed evaluating for initial evidence of radiographic bone-graft healing and patient weightbearing. Although not without its own limitations, the Cotton osteotomy offers several advantages with minimal complications, proving to be a valuable underused resource in the foot and ankle surgeon’s toolkit.

Corresponding author: LT Aaron R. Chambers, DPM, FACFAS, Medical Service Corps, Naval Hospital Bremerton, 1 Boone Rd, Bremerton, WA 98312. (E-mail: aaron.r.chambers3.mil@mail.mil)