Bone and Joint Institute

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© 2021 Joule Inc. or its licensors. BACKGROUND: An important aim of high tibial osteotomy (HTO) is to prevent or delay the need for total knee replacement (TKR). We sought to estimate the frequency and timing of conversion from HTO to TKR and the factors associated with it. METHODS: We prospectively evaluated patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee who underwent medial opening wedge HTO from 2002 to 2014 and analyzed the cumulative incidence of TKR in July 2019. The presence or absence of TKR on the HTO limb was identified from the orthopedic surgery reports and knee radiographs contained in the electronic medical records for each patient at London Health Sciences Centre. We used cumulative incidence curves to evaluate the primary outcome of time to TKR. We used multivariable Cox proportional hazards analysis to assess potential preoperative predictors including radiographic disease severity, malalignment, correction size, pain, sex, age, body mass index (BMI) and year of surgery. RESULTS: Among 556 patients who underwent 643 HTO procedures, the cumulative incidence of TKR was 5% (95% confidence interval [CI] 3%–7%) at 5 years and 21% (95% CI 17%–26%) at 10 years. With the Cox proportional hazards multivariable model, the following preoperative factors were significantly associated with an increased rate of conversion: radiographic OA severity (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.96, 95% CI 1.12–3.45), pain (adjusted HR 0.85, 95% CI 0.75–0.96)], female sex (adjusted HR 1.67, 95% CI 1.08–2.58), age (adjusted HR 1.50 per 10 yr, 95% CI 1.17–1.93) and BMI (adjusted HR 1.31 per 5 kng/m2, 95% CI 1.12–1.53). INTERPRETATION: We found that 79% of knees did not undergo TKR within 10 years after undergoing medial opening wedge HTO. The strongest predictor of conversion to TKR is greater radiographic disease at the time of HTO.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original publication is properly cited, the use is noncommercial (i.e. research or educational use), and no modifications or adaptations are made. See:

The original article was published as:

Codie A. Primeau, Trevor B. Birmingham, Kristyn M. Leitch, Kevin R. Willits, Robert B. Litchfield, Peter J. Fowler, Jacquelyn D. Marsh, Bert M. Chesworth, Stephanie N. Dixon, Dianne M. Bryant, J. Robert Giffin. Total knee replacement after high tibial osteotomy: time-to-event analysis and predictors. CMAJ Feb 2021, 193 (5) E158-E166; DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.200934

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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