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Background: Prior studies have suggested preoperative patient-reported outcome scores could predict patients who would achieve a clinically meaningful improvement with hallux valgus surgery. Our goal was to determine bunionectomyspecific thresholds using Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) values to predict patients who would or would not benefit from bunion surgery.

Methods: PROMIS physical function (PF), pain interference (PI), and depression assessments were prospectively collected. Forty-two patients were included in the study. Using preoperative and final follow-up visit scores, minimally clinically important differences (MCID), receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, and area under the curve (AUC) analyses were performed to determine if preoperative PROMIS scores predicted achieving MCID with 95% specificity or failing to achieve an MCID with 95% sensitivity.

Results: PROMIS PF demonstrated a significant AUC and likelihood ratio. The preoperative threshold score for failing to achieve MCID for PF was 49.6 with 95% sensitivity. The likelihood ratio was 0.14 (confidence interval, 0.02-0.94). The posttest probability of failure to achieve an MCID for PF was 94.1%. PI and depression AUCs were not significant, and thus thresholds were not determined.

Conclusion: We identified a PF threshold of 49.6, which was nearly 1 standard deviation higher than previously published. If a patient is hoping to improve PF, a patient with a preoperative t score >49.6 may not benefit from surgery. This study also suggests the need for additional research to delineate procedure-specific thresholds.

Level of Evidence: Level III, retrospective comparative series.


Originally published in Foot & Ankle International® 2020, Vol. 41(2) 133–139.