Better clinical results after closed- compared to open-wedge high tibial osteotomy in patients with medial knee osteoarthritis and varus leg alignment

  • N. van EgmondEmail author
  • S. van Grinsven
  • C. J. M. van Loon
  • R. D. Gaasbeek
  • A. van Kampen



Studies comparing mid- or long-term outcomes of open- and closed-wedge high tibial osteotomy are limited. Here, the midterm survival rate and clinical and radiographic outcomes were compared for these two techniques. The study hypothesis, based on short-term follow-up, was that after midterm follow-up, the two techniques would not differ.


A prospective follow-up study was conducted for a previously reported randomized controlled trial of an original 50 patients (25 open-wedge osteotomy and 25 closed-wedge osteotomy) with medial knee osteoarthritis and a varus leg alignment. We analyzed patients without knee arthroplasty (mean age 48.7 years, SD 8.0) for clinical and radiographic follow-up.


Five patients in each group had undergone conversion to a total knee arthroplasty or unicompartmental knee arthroplasty, leaving 19 patients for analysis in each group. At 7.9 years of follow-up (range 7–9 years), survival did not differ significantly between groups (open-wedge group 81.3 % [95 % confidence interval (CI) 75.2–100], closed-wedge group 82.0 % [95 % CI 66.7–100]). At final follow-up, total Dutch Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis (WOMAC), Knee Society Score, and visual analog scale (VAS) pain did not differ between groups. However, the results were significantly better in the closed-wedge group for VAS satisfaction and WOMAC pain and stiffness compared to the open-wedge group. Radiographic evaluation did not differ between groups for any outcome at final follow-up.


After a mean follow-up of 7.9 years, patients undergoing a closed-wedge osteotomy had favorable clinical results compared to those who underwent an open-wedge osteotomy.

Level of evidence



Open-wedge high tibial osteotomy Closed-wedge high tibial osteotomy Osteoarthritis Knee RCT 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. van Egmond
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. van Grinsven
    • 2
  • C. J. M. van Loon
    • 2
  • R. D. Gaasbeek
    • 3
  • A. van Kampen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OrthopaedicsRadboud University Medical CentreNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of OrthopaedicsRijnstate Hospital ArnhemArnhemThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedics and TraumatologyMeander Medical CenterAmersfoortThe Netherlands

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