There is some controversy about how the proximal tibiofibular joint (PTFJ) capsulotomy changes PTFJ anatomy in closed-wedge high tibial osteotomy (CW-HTO) and about how this affects ankle and knee mobility and the onset of lateral knee pain. The aim of this study is to evaluate changes in PTFJ after CW-HTO, and its possible clinical significance.
This study includes 50 patients who underwent CW-HTO with tibiofibular capsulotomy from 2000 to 2018 in our hospital. A clinical evaluation was conducted to evaluate pain location. The degrees of osteoarthritis and the proximal fibular subluxation were evaluated on radiographs. A dynamic analysis of the PTFJ was also performed comparing proximal fibular head subluxation on anteroposterior knee radiographs with the ankle placed in neutral position and dorsiflexed.
The clinical evaluation revealed that two patients had a sore scar, five had pain on the PTFJ with manual compression, and none referred lateral compartment pain. The radiological analysis revealed an average proximal subluxation of the fibular head after the osteotomy of 9.64 (range: 0-29) mm, which was greater in oblique PTFJ (p < 0.05). After the surgery, all the patients developed some degree of PTFJ arthritis. There was no correlation between lateral pain and proximal fibular subluxation, tibiofibular arthritis, or lateral compartment arthritis. The dynamic analysis revealed no significant changes.
After CW-HTO all the patients developed proximal subluxation of the fibular head and a variable degree of PTFJ osteoarthritis, but these changes seem to be unrelated with lateral knee pain.
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