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Fixator-assisted Technique Enables Less Invasive Plate Osteosynthesis in Medial Opening-wedge High Tibial Osteotomy: A Novel Technique

 Dong Hoon Lee  ;  Keun Jung Ryu  ;  Hae Hwa Kim  ;  Sahyun Soung  ;  Soowan Shin 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Adult ; Aged ; Bone Plates* ; External Fixators* ; Female ; Humans ; Male ; Middle Aged ; Osteotomy/instrumentation* ; Osteotomy/methods* ; Retrospective Studies ; Tibia/surgery* ; Young Adult
Medial Collateral Ligament ; High Tibial Osteotomy ; Lateral Tibial Plateau ; Posterior Tibial Slope ; Mechanical Axis Deviation
BACKGROUND: Opening-wedge high tibial osteotomy is a well-established procedure in the management of medial osteoarthritis of the knee and correction of proximal tibia vara. Recently, surgical approaches using less invasive plate osteosynthesis have been used with the goal of minimizing complications from more extensive soft tissue exposures. However, to our knowledge, less invasive fixator-assisted plate osteosynthesis has not been tested in the setting of opening-wedge high tibial osteotomy.

QUESTIONS/PURPOSES: The purposes of this study were (1) to assess the complications associated with use of a fixator-assisted less invasive plate osteosynthesis technique to stabilize an opening-wedge high tibial osteotomy in the treatment of proximal tibial vara; and (2) to evaluate the ability of this technique to achieve correction of the proximal tibial deformity and achieve osseous union.

METHODS: From June 2011 to June 2013, a total of 157 limbs in 83 patients who underwent fixator-assisted high tibial osteotomy for (1) idiopathic genu vara; or (2) osteoarthritis of the knee with proximal tibia vara were initially enrolled. Of these, eight limbs (5%) were excluded on the way; thus, 149 limbs in 77 patients were evaluated. During the period in question, no other techniques were used for proximal tibial osteotomy. The surgical procedures included less preparation of soft tissue, proximal tibial osteotomy, application of a temporary external fixator, correction of alignment, and final fixation with the help of an external fixator. Complications were assessed by chart review and the alignment in both coronal and sagittal planes was compared pre- and postoperatively. Radiographic review to confirm osseous union and alignment was performed by two of the authors not involved in clinical care of the patient. Delayed union was described as union occurring later than 4 months.

RESULTS: Thirty limbs out of 149 tibiae (20%) showed complications, all of which were resolved without leaving any sequela. Twenty-seven limbs out of 149 limbs (18%) showed lateral cortical hinge fracture and three limbs out of 149 limbs (2%) showed soft tissue complications (two superficial infections, one wound hematoma). The overall completeness of reaching the target correction was excellent. In the coronal plane, the difference between the amount of real correction and the amount of target correction was 0.3° ± 0.7° (p < 0.001). In the sagittal plane, the difference between pre- and postoperative posterior proximal tibial angle was -0.1° ± 0.2° (p < 0.001). All osteotomies healed before 4 months.

CONCLUSIONS: Fixator-assisted high tibial osteotomy is a valid option for medial opening-wedge high tibial osteotomy, which enables less invasive surgery with excellent coronal/sagittal/rotational alignment control. However, future studies should compare this approach with other approaches for proximal tibial osteotomy to ascertain whether indeed this procedure is less invasive or more reliable.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery (정형외과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Ryu, Keun Jung(류근정)
Lee, Dong Hoon(이동훈)
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