Primary stability of four different implants for opening wedge high tibial osteotomy

  • J. D. Agneskirchner
  • D. Freiling
  • C. Hurschler
  • P. Lobenhoffer


Since a significant number of implant failures have been reported in association with the procedure of open wedge valgus high tibial osteotomy, the initial biomechanical stability of different fixation devices was investigated in this study. Fifteen third generation Sawbones composite tibiae were used as a model. Four different plates were tested: a short spacer plate (OWO) (n=4), a short spacer plate with multi-directional locking bolts (MSO) (n=5), a prototype version of a long spacer plate with multi-directional locking bolts (MSOnew) (n=2), and a long medial tibia plate fixator with locking bolts (MPF) (n=4). All opening wedge osteotomies were performed by the same surgeon (PL) in a standardized fashion. Axial compression of the tibiae was performed using a materials testing machine under standardized alignment of the loading axis. Single load to failure tests as well as load-controlled cyclical failure tests were performed. The required force and cycles to failure were recorded. Osteotomy gap motion was measured using linear displacement transducers. Residual stability after failure of the opposite lateral cortex was analysed. Failure occurred at the lateral cortex bone-bride in all tested implants. The rigid long plate fixator (MPF) resisted the greatest amount of force (2,881 N) in the single load to failure tests. In the cyclical load-to-failure tests, the constructs with MPF resisted more than twice the amount of loading cycles when compared to the short spacer plates. The osteotomy gap motion was smallest in the MPF, with a reduction of the displacements of up to 65, 66 and 88%, when compared to OWO, MSO and MSOnew, respectively. The highest residual stability after failure of the lateral cortex was observed in MPF as well. The results suggest that the implant design strongly influences the primary stability of medial opening wedge tibial osteotomy. A rigid long plate fixator with angle-stable locking bolts yields the best results.


Osteoarthritis High tibial osteotomy Fixation method Puddu plate Tomofix Locking compression plate 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. D. Agneskirchner
    • 1
  • D. Freiling
    • 1
  • C. Hurschler
    • 2
  • P. Lobenhoffer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Trauma and Reconstructive SurgeryHenriettenstiftung HannoverHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Laboratory for Biomechanics and Biomaterials, Orthopaedics DepartmentHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany

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