International Orthopaedics

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 55–60 | Cite as

Does obesity and nicotine abuse influence the outcome and complication rate after open-wedge high tibial osteotomy? A retrospective evaluation of five hundred and thirty three patients

  • Stephanie Floerkemeier
  • Alex E. Staubli
  • Steffen Schroeter
  • Sabine Goldhahn
  • Philipp Lobenhoffer
Original Paper



Nicotine abuse and obesity are well-known factors leading to common post-operative complications. However, their influence on the outcome after high tibial osteotomy is controversial. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate their effect on the clinical outcome with particular regard to bone non-union and local complications.


The functional outcome after open-wedge high tibial osteotomy using the TomoFix® plate was assessed by means of the 12-item Oxford knee score in a multicentre study. In addition the intra- and post-operative complications were determined.


Of 533 eligible patients, 386 were interviewed after a mean follow-up of 3.6 years. The median Oxford knee score was 43 points (max. 48 points). Six per cent of these patients experienced at least one local post-operative complication. Patients with a body mass index (BMI) of up to 25 and between 25 and 30 had a higher mean score by 3.5 and 1.8 points, respectively, compared with those having a BMI of more than 30 showing a score of 37.5. No correlation was observed between smoking and the functional outcome. Smoking habits, BMI, the absolute patient weight and the interaction term between smoking and BMI were not significant with reference to the complication rate.


This study reveals favourable mid-term results after high tibial osteotomy in varus osteoarthritis even in patients who smoked and obese patients. The indication in patients with a BMI above 30 should be handled with care due to the slightly inferior outcome, although the complication rate was not increased in these patients.


High tibial osteotomy Medial osteoarthritis Oxford knee score TomoFix Smoking Obesity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie Floerkemeier
    • 1
  • Alex E. Staubli
    • 2
  • Steffen Schroeter
    • 3
  • Sabine Goldhahn
    • 4
  • Philipp Lobenhoffer
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryHanover Medical SchoolHanoverGermany
  2. 2.Private Clinic Sonnmatt LuzernLucerneSwitzerland
  3. 3.BG Unfallklinik TübingenTübingenGermany
  4. 4.AO Clinical Investigation and DocumentationAO FoundationDübendorfSwitzerland
  5. 5.Sports Clinic GermanyHanoverGermany

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