Evidence and mechanism by which upper partial fibulectomy improves knee biomechanics and decreases knee pain of osteoarthritisYong Nie ZeYu Huang Bin Xu Bin Shen Virginia B. Kraus FuXing Pei
To investigate the change in short‐term clinical outcomes and biomechanical properties of the knee in response to upper partial fibulectomy and to probe into the biomechanical mechanism underlying the clinical benefits of upper partial fibulectomy for medial compartment knee osteoarthritis (KOA). A total of 29 patients with medial compartment KOA underwent upper partial fibulectomy. Visual analog scale (VAS) pain, the hospital for special surgery knee score (HSS), hip‐knee‐ankle (HKA) angle (measured in the frontal plane), and flexion/extension range of motion of the knee were assessed before and up to 6 months after surgery. Patients and 20 healthy controls were evaluated by 3D gait analysis and dynamic lower limb musculoskeletal analysis. Both VAS pain and HSS score were significantly improved (p < 0.001) one day after surgery and steadily improved during the subsequent 6 months. HKA angle improved (p = 0.025) immediately and remained stable by 3 months after surgery. The decreased overall peak KAM (decreased by 11.1%) and increased HKA angle (increased by 1.80 degrees from a more varus to more neutral alignment) of affected and operated side by 6 months after surgery were observed. Muscle activity of biceps femoris caput longum of affected and operated side increased immediately and was equivalent to healthy controls by 6 months after surgery (p = 0.007). This pilot study provides biomechanical evidence of benefit from partial upper fibulectomy and indicates a plausible rationale for the improvement in clinical symptoms. Long‐term clinical outcomes and precise biomechanical mechanism of partial upper fibulectomy should be further investigated.