Between 2003 and 2007, 99 knees in 77 patients underwent opening wedge high tibial osteotomy. We evaluated the effect of initial stable fixation combined with an artificial bone substitute on the mid- to long-term outcome after medial opening-wedge high tibial osteotomy (HTO) for medial compartmental osteoarthritis or spontaneous osteonecrosis of the knee in 78 knees in 64 patients available for review at a minimum of five years (mean age 68 years; 49 to 82). The mean follow-up was 6.5 years (5 to 10). The mean Knee Society knee score and function score improved from 49.6 (sd 11.4, 26 to 72) and 56.6 (sd 15.6, 5 to 100) before surgery to 88.1 (sd 12.5, 14 to 100) and 89.4 (sd 15.6, 5 to 100) at final follow-up (p < 0.001) respectively. There were no significant differences between patients aged ≥ 70 and < 70 years. The mean standing femorotibial angle was corrected significantly from 181.7° (sd 2.7°, 175° to 185°) pre-operatively to 169.7° (sd 2.4°, 164° to 175°) at one year’s follow-up (p < 0.001) and 169.6° (sd 3.0°, 157° to 179°) at the final follow-up (p = 0.69 vs one year). Opening-wedge HTO using a stable plate fixation system combined with a bone substitute is a reliable procedure that provides excellent results. Although this treatment might seem challenging for older patients, our results strongly suggest that the results are equally good. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2014;96-B:339-44.
Artificial bone substitute, High tibial osteotomy, Knee, Older patients, Opening-wedge, Rigid plate fixation