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The complications of high tibial osteotomy


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We compared the incidence and severity of complications during and after closing- and opening-wedge high tibial osteotomy used for the treatment of varus arthritis of the knee, and identified the risk factors associated with the development of complications. In total, 104 patients underwent laterally based closing-wedge and 90 medial opening-wedge high tibial osteotomy between January 1993 and December 2006. The characteristics of each group were similar. All the patients were followed up for more than 12 months. We assessed the outcome using the Hospital for Special Surgery knee score, and recorded the complications. Age, gender, obesity (body mass index > 27.5 kg/m2), the type of osteotomy (closing versus opening) and the pre-operative mechanical axis were subjected to risk-factor analysis.

The mean Hospital for Special Surgery score in the closing and opening groups improved from 73.4 (54 to 86) to 91.8 (81 to 100) and from 73.8 (56 to 88) to 93 (84 to 100), respectively. The incidence of complications overall and of major complications in both groups was not significantly different (p = 0.20 overall complication, p = 0.29 major complication). Logistic regression analysis adjusting for obesity and the pre-operative mechanical axis showed that obesity remained a significant independent risk factor (odds ratio = 3.23) of a major complication after high tibial osteotomy.

Our results suggest that the opening-wedge high tibial osteotomy can be an alternative treatment option for young patients with medial compartment osteoarthritis and varus deformity.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr M. S. Jeong; e-mail: taesado@naver.com

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