Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 124, Issue 10, pp 649–653 | Cite as

Complications in high tibial (medial opening wedge) osteotomy

  • Gunter SpahnEmail author
Original Article



The high tibial (medial opening wedge) osteotomy (HTO) is a standard procedure in the treatment of varus gonarthrosis. This is potentially associated with various complications. The aim of this study was an analysis of complications and potential technical mistakes.

Materials and methods

A total of 85 patients (49 male and 36 female) suffering from varus gonarthrosis underwent a medial opening wedge HTO. The osteotomy was fixed in 55 patients by a spacer plate (Puddu plate; group A). In group B (n=30), the osteotomies were fixed by C-plate.


The rate of complications was 43.6% in group A and 16.7% in group B (p<0.05). Infraction of the lateral tibial head is a possible intraoperative complication. This was seen in 11.7%. An additional osteosynthesis was required in group A. In contrast, the C-plate can solve this problem without additional measures. General complications of the HTO were seen: infection (4.7%), hematoma (4.7%), and thrombosis (2.3%). In every case of a severe deep infection, the osteotomy space was filled with synthetic bone graft. These grafts were used only in group A. Failure of the implants is a potential cause of loss of correction. This complication was seen nine times in group A but never in group B.


A diligent surgical technique and a convenient implant are obligatory in (medial opening wedge) HTO.


Tibial osteotomy Gonarthrosis Varus Complications Implants 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinic of Arthroscopy and Joint Surgery EisenachEisenachGermany

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