High tibial osteotomy results in improved frontal plane knee moments, gait patterns and patient-reported outcomesWhatling, G.M., Biggs, P.R., Elson, D.W. et al.
The purpose of this study was to quantify changes in knee loading in the three clinical planes, compensatory gait adaptations and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMS) resulting from opening wedge high tibial osteotomy (HTO).
Gait analysis was performed on 18 participants (19 knees) with medial osteoarthritis (OA) and varus alignment pre- and post-HTO, along with 18 controls, to calculate temporal, kinematic and kinetic measures. Oxford Knee Score, Knee Outcome Survey and visual analogue pain scores were collected. Paired and independent sample tests identified changes following surgery and deviations from controls.
HTO restored frontal and transverse plane knee joint loading to that of the control group, while reductions remained in the sagittal plane. Elevated frontal plane trunk sway (p = 0.031) and reduced gait speed (p = 0.042), adopted as compensatory gait changes pre-HTO, were corrected by the surgery. PROMs significantly improved (p ≤ 0.002). Centre of pressure (COP) was lateralised relative to the knee post-HTO (p < 0.001). Energy absorbed in the sagittal plane significantly increased post-HTO (p = 0.007), whilst work done in the transverse plane reduced (p ≤ 0.008). Pre-operative gait deviations from the control group that were retained post-HTO included smaller sagittal (p = 0.003) knee range of motion during gait, greater stance duration (p = 0.008) and altered COP location (anterior to the knee) in early stance (p = 0.025).
HTO surgery restored frontal and transverse plane knee loading to normal levels and improved PROMs. Gait adaptations known to reduce knee loading employed pre-HTO were not retained post-HTO. Some gait features were found to differ between post-HTO subjects and controls.
Level of evidence