Can patients really participate in sport after high tibial osteotomy?

  • Michel P. BonninEmail author
  • Jean-Raphael Laurent
  • Frédéric Zadegan
  • Roger Badet
  • H. A. Pooler Archbold
  • Elvire Servien



The possibility to return to sporting activity can be an important consideration in the decision-making process in femorotibial osteoarthritis. We analyzed functional outcomes and sport participation in a continuous series of HTO and asked whether this procedure could match expectations in active and motivated patients.


We retrospectively investigated activities, sports participation, and the level of satisfaction in 139 patients with unilateral noncomplicated HTO. The study included 41 women and 98 men with a mean age of 59 years and a mean 50 months of follow-up.


Eighty-seven patients (63%) reported that their knee was “normal,” and eighty-six patients (62%) felt that their activities were limited by their knee. A total of 78 patients (56%) reported that they were as active as they expected to be before the intervention. Of these patients, 98% were satisfied. Of the patients who were not as active as they thought they would be, 51% were satisfied (P < 0.0001). The duration of preoperative pain, the age at evaluation, and the number of previous surgeries did not influence the subjective result. Among patients under 75 years, 28% regularly participated in strenuous sports, but 40% were motivated for these activities. 66% of the motivated patients regularly participated in at least one impact sport.


This study shows that young motivated patients are able to resume strenuous activities following HTO. However, patients must be informed that they will typically not recover their pre-pathology level and that residual pain during strenuous sports is not exceptional.

Level of evidence

Therapeutic study, Level IV.


Knee Osteoarthritis Osteotomy Sport Function 



The authors thank the other participating orthopedic surgeons who included their patients in this series: P. Chambat (Lyon France), P. Neyret (Lyon France), P Beaufils (Versailles, France). The authors thank Nadine Bossard MD for the department of biostatistics: Hospices Civils de Lyon, Université Lyon I, Villeurbanne, 69622, France; CNRS; UMR 5558, Laboratoire Biostatistique Santé, Pierre-Bénite, 69495, France. Authors thank ESSKA for its financial support for this study.

Supplementary material

167_2011_1461_MOESM1_ESM.doc (104 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 103 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel P. Bonnin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jean-Raphael Laurent
    • 1
  • Frédéric Zadegan
    • 2
  • Roger Badet
    • 3
  • H. A. Pooler Archbold
    • 1
  • Elvire Servien
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre Orthopédique SantyLyonFrance
  2. 2.Centre Hospitalier de VersaillesLe ChesnayFrance
  3. 3.Clinique Saint Vincent de PaulBourgoin JallieuFrance
  4. 4.Centre Albert Trillat—Hôpital de la Croix-Rousse, Hospices Civils de LyonLyon-CaluireFrance

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