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Different Changes In Slope Between The Medial And Lateral Tibial Plateau After Open-wedge High Tibial Osteotomy

S. Lustig, C. Scholes, A. J. Costa, M. Coolican, D. A. Parker
Published 2012 · Medicine

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PurposeIn contrast to radiographic measurements, MRI provides multiple slices of the knee joint in the sagittal plane, making it possible to assess the medial and lateral tibial slope separately. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of medial open-wedge high tibial osteotomy (MOWHTO) on bony and meniscal slope in the medial and lateral tibiofemoral compartments. It was hypothesised that greater changes on the medial tibial plateau would be observed compared with the lateral one.MethodsA retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data was performed on pre- and post-operative MRIs from 21 patients (17 men and 4 women; age 52 ± 9 years). Inclusion criteria were varus alignment, medial compartment osteoarthritis and election for a primary MOWHTO. Each patient had a preoperative and a post-operative high-resolution MRI (3Tesla, Magnetom Trio, Siemens AG) at an average follow-up of 2.1 years. A previously published method was used to measure bony and meniscal slope for each compartment. The difference between pre- and post-operative tibial slope for both compartments was calculated and associated with the amount of frontal correction.ResultsThere was a significant increase in bony tibial slope in both compartments following MOWHTO. When a change in bony tibial slope was detected in an individual patient, the change was larger in the medial compartment, with the average change also significantly greater (p < 0.01) in the medial compartment (2.4° ± 1.3°) compared with the lateral compartment (0.9° ± 1.1°). There was also a significant increase (p < 0.01) in the lateral tibial meniscal slope of 0.9° ± 1.4°, which was equivalent to the change in the bony lateral slope. The amount of frontal correction was not significantly associated with the amount of change in slope.ConclusionsThe results suggest that the modification of the bony slope is larger in the medial compartment after MOWHTO, which is likely related to the location of the hinge on the lateral tibial cortex. These findings suggest that consideration of the medial and lateral tibial slope intra-operatively could be important to identify the optimal location of the hinge. However, further studies are required before recommending any modification to the surgical technique, as the potential clinical consequences of tibial slope alterations remain unknown.Level of evidenceIV.
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