OBJECTIVES: Opening-wedge high tibia osteotomies (HTO) can be technically challenging. The HTO iBalance system was designed to reduce vascular complications and to avoid secondary plate removal. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the performance of the HTO iBalance system in patients with symptomatic medial osteoarthritis and varus malalignment.
METHODS: The study was performed as a retrospective cohort study investigating a consecutive series of patients who underwent HTO with the iBalance system performed by a single surgeon from August 2013 to March 2016 at Zealand University Hospital, Koege, and Aleris-Hamlet Hospital. The primary outcome was the degree of realignment. The secondary outcome was Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS). Follow-up was performed at mean (SD) 25 (9.7) months. Weight-bearing long-leg standing radiographs were taken before surgery and at follow-up. Failure was defined as collapse of the HTO defined as a correction <50% of the intended correction at time of follow-up. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for failure.
RESULTS: 44 patients and a total of 47 knees were included in this study. Preoperatively the mechanical axis was a mean (SD) 5.8° (2.9) varus and postoperatively 2.3° (3.7) varus . The HTO failed in 13 of 47 knees (28%). Patients with failure showed no statistically significant differences to non-failure in any KOOS subscore (p>0.05). American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score (p=0.01) and body mass index (BMI) (p=0.05) were correlated with failure, whereas bone transplantation and smoking were not.
CONCLUSION: In this study, the failure rate of HTO was 28%. High BMI and ASA-score were the only risk factors associated with failure while bone grafting and smoking were not.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Retrospective cohort study, level III.