The Knee, ISSN: 1873-5800, Vol: 23, Issue: 6, Page: 925-935

How accurately does high tibial osteotomy correct the mechanical axis of an arthritic varus knee? A systematic review

Van den Bempt, Maxim; Van Genechten, Wouter; Claes, Toon; Claes, Steven


The aim of this study was to give an overview of the accuracy of coronal limb alignment correction after high tibial osteotomy (HTO) for the arthritic varus knee by performing a systematic review of the literature.


The databases PubMed, MEDLINE and Cochrane Library were screened for relevant articles. Only prospective clinical studies with the accuracy of alignment correction by performing HTO as primary or secondary objective were included.


Fifteen studies were included in this systematic review and were subdivided in 23 cohorts. A total of 966 procedures were considered. Nine cohorts used computer navigation during HTO and the other 14 cohorts used a conventional method. In seven computer navigation cohorts, at least 75% of the study population fell into the accepted “range of accuracy” (AR) as proposed by the different studies, but only six out of 14 conventional cohorts reached this percentage. Four out of eight conventional cohorts that provided data on under- and overcorrection, had a tendency to undercorrection.


The accuracy of coronal alignment corrections using conventional HTO falls short. The number of procedures outside the proposed AR is surprising and exposes a critical concern for modern HTO. Computer navigation might improve the accuracy of correction, but its use is not widespread among orthopedic surgeons. Although HTO procedures have been shown to be successful in the treatment of unicompartmental knee arthritis when performed accurately, the results of this review stress the importance of ongoing efforts in order to improve correction accuracy in modern HTO.

Download article