Appropriate hinge position for prevention of unstable lateral hinge fracture in open wedge high tibial osteotomy

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Open wedge high tibial osteotomy (OWHTO) for medial-compartment osteoarthritis of the knee can be complicated by intra-operative lateral hinge fracture (LHF). We aimed to establish the relationship between hinge position and fracture types, and suggest an appropriate hinge position to reduce the risk of this complication.

Patients and Methods

Consecutive patients undergoing OWHTO were evaluated on coronal multiplanar reconstruction CT images. Hinge positions were divided into five zones in our new classification, by their relationship to the proximal tibiofibular joint (PTFJ). Fractures were classified into types I, II, and III according to the Takeuchi classification.


Among 111 patients undergoing OWHTOs, 22 sustained lateral hinge fractures. Of the 89 patients without fractures, 70 had hinges in the zone within the PTFJ and lateral to the medial margin of the PTFJ (zone WL), just above the PTFJ. Among the five zones, the relative risk of unstable fracture was significantly lower in zone WL (relative risk 0.24, confidence interval 0.17 to 0.34).


Zone WL appears to offer the safest position for the placement of the osteotomy hinge when trying to avoid a fracture at the osteotomy site.

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