header advert
Orthopaedic Proceedings Logo

Receive monthly Table of Contents alerts from Orthopaedic Proceedings

Comprehensive article alerts can be set up and managed through your account settings

View my account settings

Visit Orthopaedic Proceedings at:



Full Access

General Orthopaedics


The Welsh Orthopaedic Society (WOS) Meeting, Newport, Wales, 26–27 May 2022.


This study aimed to examine the effect of high tibial osteotomy (HTO) on the ankle and subtalar joints via analysis of static radiographic alignment. We hypothesised that surgical alteration of the alignment of the proximal tibia would result in compensatory distal changes.

35 patients recruited as part of the wider Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre Versus Arthritis HTO study between 2011 and 2018 had pre- and postoperative full-length weightbearing radiographs taken of their lower limbs. In addition to standard alignment measures of the limb and knee (mechanical tibiofemoral angle, Mikulicz point, medial proximal tibial angle), additional measures were taken of the ankle/subtalar joints (lateral distal tibial angle, ground-talus angle, joint line convergence angle of the ankle) as well as a novel measure of stance width. Results were compared using a paired T-test and Pearson's correlation coefficient.

Following HTO, there was a significant (5.4°) change in subtalar alignment. Ground-talus angle appeared related both to the level of malalignment preoperatively and the magnitude of the alignment change caused by the HTO surgery; suggesting subtalar positioning as a key adaptive mechanism. In addition to compensatory changes within the subtalar joints, the patients on average had a 31% wider stance following HTO. These two mechanisms do not appear to be correlated but the morphology of the tibial plafond may influence which compensatory mechanisms are employed by different subgroups of HTO patients.

These findings are of vital importance in clinical practice both to anticipate potential changes to the ankle and subtalar joints following HTO but it could also open up wider indications for HTO in the treatment of ankle malalignment and osteoarthritis.