Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 96–112 | Cite as

The impact of a high tibial valgus osteotomy and unicondylar medial arthroplasty on the treatment for knee osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis

  • Gunter SpahnEmail author
  • Gunther O. Hofmann
  • Lars Victor von Engelhardt
  • Mengxia Li
  • Henning Neubauer
  • Hans Michael Klinger



Both high tibial valgus osteotomy (HTO) and unicompartmental medial knee arthroplasty (UKA) are established methods for the treatment for moderate stages of OA. This is the first global meta-analysis to compare the long-term effects of both methods regarding survival, outcomes and complications of total arthroplasty.


Literature research was performed using established medical databases: MEDLINE (via PubMed), EMBASE (via OVID) and the Cochrane register. Criteria for inclusion were as follows: English or German papers, a clinical trial with a clear description of survival, an outcome evaluation using a well-described knee score and a follow-up >5 years. Statistical analysis was performed using the special meta-analysis software called “Comprehensive Meta Analysis” (version 2.0; Biostat, Englewood, NJ, USA).


Final meta-analysis after the full-text review included 46 studies about valgus HTO and 43 studies about medial UKA. There were no significant differences between valgus HTO and medial UKA in terms of the number of total required replacements. After a 5- to 8-year follow-up, 91.0% of the valgus HTO patients and 91.5% of medial UKA patients did not need a total replacement. This value was 84.4% for valgus HTOs and 86.9% for medial UKAs after a 9- to 12-year follow-up. Mean survival time to TKA was 9.7 years after valgus HTO and 9.2 years after medial UKA. Clinical outcome was significantly better after medial UKA in a 5- to 12-year follow-up. After more than 12 years, results were comparable in both groups. No significant differences were seen in the complication rates.


This meta-analysis aimed to find the advantages and disadvantages of two established methods for the treatment for medial compartment knee osteoarthritis. Valgus HTO is more appropriate for younger patients who accept a slight decrease in their physical activity. Medial UKA is appropriate for older patients obtaining sufficient pain relief but with reduced physical activity.

Level of evidence



Knee Osteoarthritis Unicondylar arthroplasty Osteotomy Meta-analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gunter Spahn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gunther O. Hofmann
    • 2
  • Lars Victor von Engelhardt
    • 3
  • Mengxia Li
    • 4
  • Henning Neubauer
    • 5
  • Hans Michael Klinger
    • 6
  1. 1.Center of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery EisenachEisenachGermany
  2. 2.Departments of Traumatology and Orthopaedic SurgeryFriedrich-Schiller-University of Jena and Trauma Center HalleJenaGermany
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma SurgeryMartin-Luther-University HalleHalle (Saale)Germany
  4. 4.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of WuerzburgWuerzburgGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Radiology, University of WuerzburgWuerzburgGermany
  6. 6.Orthopaedic DepartmentGeorg-August-Universitäty GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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