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Improved Clinical Outcome and High Rate of Return to Low-Impact Sport and Work After Knee Double Level Osteotomy for Bifocal Varus Malalignment

Published:December 15, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2021.12.004

      Purpose

      To evaluate return to sport (RTS) and work (RTW), as well as clinical outcomes following double level osteotomy (DLO) via combined medial open wedge high tibial osteotomy and lateral closing wedge distal femoral osteotomy for bifocal symptomatic varus malalignment, and to compare these outcome parameters between patients undergoing a single surgery and those undergoing a two-stage procedure.

      Methods

      Consecutive patients who underwent DLO for symptomatic varus malalignment between 12/2007 and 03/2018 were enrolled. Patients converted to arthroplasty (n = 3) during follow-up were excluded. Outcome measures included the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) Score, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), Lysholm score, Tegner Activity Scale, and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, which were collected preoperatively and at a minimum of 24 months postoperatively. RTS and RTW were evaluated by questionnaire. Outcome measures were compared between DLO performed in a single- versus a two-stage surgery.

      Results

      Thirty-two patients (mean age: 44.2 ± 12.6 years), who underwent DLO for varus malalignment (10.1° ± 2.9°) were included at a mean follow-up of 56.9 ± 35.3 months (range: 24-148). Compared to preoperatively, these patients significantly improved in IKDC (50.4 ± 13.9 to 66.1 ± 15.4; P < .001), WOMAC (29.7 ± 19.2 to 11.8 ± 13.5; P < .001) and Lysholm (53.6 ± 23.6 to 73.1 ± 23.6; P = .002) scores at final follow-up. For the WOMAC score, 78% of the patients included reached the minimally important clinical difference, along with a significant reduction of the VAS for pain (5.0 ± 3.0 to 2.5 ± 2.4; P < .001). Postoperatively, 96% of patients returned to sport after 7.7 ± 4.8 months, but at a lower frequency (P = .010) and to fewer disciplines (P = .005) with a shift to low-impact sports. 90% of the patients returned to work at a mean 5.9 ± 9.4 months, with 79% reporting a similar or superior working ability. Patients undergoing a two-stage procedure recovered to full physical working ability at a significantly longer duration, as compared to a single-stage procedure (9.8 ± 3.8 vs 9.0 ± 13.1 months; P = .047).

      Conclusion

      The majority of patients undergoing DLO for symptomatic varus malalignment, who were not converted to arthroplasty, experienced clinically significant functional improvement at mid-term follow-up. Return to sport and work rates in these patients were high; however, a shift to lower-impact sports disciplines was observed. Similar clinical outcomes can be expected when performing DLO in a single surgery or a two-stage procedure.

      Level of Evidence

      Retrospective case series; Level IV
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