Current indications for high tibial osteotomy (HTO) are controversial although several risk factors have been associated with HTO survival. We ascertained the influence of preoperative variables in a consecutive series of patients who had closing wedge HTO at a minimum of 12 year followup (mean 18-year, range 12 to 28 years). Three hundred one of an initial 372 high tibial osteotomies (313 patients) were included (81% followup); 71 knees were eliminated because patients died (30 knees) or were lost to followup (41 knees). The mean age was 42 years (range, 15-76 years), 194 were men and 119 were women. The osteotomy was fixed by a Blount staple and an AO half-tube plate with three screws. Forty-three knees (14%) in 39 patients were revised for progression of osteoarthritis at an average of 102 months. Survival was 85% at 20 years with revision as the endpoint. Knee function was considered satisfactory by 77% of patients. At final followup, ½ of the knees showed radiographic signs of medial osteoarthritis. The most important risk factors predicting revision were age greater than 50 years and a preoperative arthritis Ahlback grade of 3 or more.
Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study (case series). See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.