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Am J Sports Med. 1993 Jan-Feb;21(1):2-12.

High tibial osteotomy and ligament reconstruction in varus angulated, anterior cruciate ligament-deficient knees. A two- to seven-year follow-up study.

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  • 1Cincinnati Sportsmedicine Center, Ohio.


We assessed short-term treatment results of younger patients with varus malalignment and chronic anterior cruciate ligament deficiency. Forty-one patients (mean, 32 years; range, 16 to 47) underwent a high tibial osteotomy. Because of giving way symptoms, 14 also had a lateral iliotibial band extraarticular procedure at the time of the osteotomy and 16 had an intraarticular anterior cruciate ligament allograft reconstruction after the osteotomy. All returned for followup (mean, 58 months; range, 23 to 86), which included KT-1000 arthrometer testing and evaluation by our knee rating system. Statistically significant (P < 0.05) improvements were found in the mean overall rating scores for pain, swelling, and giving way. Preoperatively, 30 (73%) had pain with activities of daily living or with any sports activity; 11 (27%) could perform only light sports activities without pain. At followup, 32 patients (78%) had no pain with activities of daily living or light sports. Ten of 15 patients with advanced medial tibiofemoral arthrosis (subchondral bone exposure) had significant improvements in symptoms. Patient satisfaction was high: 88% stated they would undergo the procedure again and 78% felt their knee condition was improved. Patients who had the allograft reconstruction had significantly lower (P < 0.05) anterior-posterior displacements at followup than those who had the extraarticular procedure. We concluded that osteotomy should be performed early in the disease process for younger athletes who experience symptoms with activity. It may be unrealistic, however, to expect continuation of sports beyond light recreational, given the joint arthrosis that is usually present and the high in vivo joint loadings with athletes. Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction should be considered when giving way previously occurred and the patient plans to resume athletics. However, patients with advanced arthrosis can avoid anterior cruciate ligament surgery by reducing athletic activities.

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