Return to Work and Sport After Proximal Tibial Osteotomy and the Effects of Opening Versus Closing Wedge Techniques on Adverse Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Kyle N. Kunze, Alexander Beletsky, Charles P. Hannon, Robert F. LaPrade, Adam B. Yanke, Brian J. Cole, Brian Forsythe, Jorge Chahla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Although many studies have reported successful functional outcomes after proximal tibial osteotomy (PTO), a paucity of literature has sought to quantify outcomes and current rates of return to sport (RTS) and return to work (RTW) after PTO. Purpose: To (1) determine current rates of RTS and RTW after PTO and (2) quantify the incidence of complications and conversion to total knee arthroplasty (TKA) after PTO for all patients as well as those undergoing opening and closing wedge PTO. Study Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed (2008-2019), EMBASE (2008-2019), and MEDLINE (2008-2019) databases were queried. Data pertaining to article information, patient demographics, surgical techniques, rates of complication and conversion to TKA, patient-reported outcome scores, RTS, and RTW were extracted. Data were synthesized, and a random effects meta-analysis of proportions using continuity correction methods was performed to determine the proportion of patients receiving opening and closing wedge PTO who experienced adverse events. Results: The review and meta-analysis included 33 studies involving 1914 patients who underwent PTO with a weighted mean ± SD age of 50.3 ± 9.9 years and body mass index of 26.9 ± 2.3 kg/m2. The pooled RTS and RTW rates were 75.7% (range, 55%-100%) in 814 patients and 80.8% (range, 41%-100%) in 505 patients, respectively. The pooled TKA rate was 12.5% (range, 0%-35.7%) at a mean of 70.6 months and the pooled complication rate was 11.1% (range, 0%-28.6%). The overall random pooled summary estimate of the proportion of patients who underwent opening wedge PTO and subsequently converted to TKA was 2.0% (95% CI, 1.0%-4.0%; I2 = 63.65) at a mean of 43.4 ± 31.9 months and who experienced a complication was 6.0% (95% CI, 3.0%-9.0%; I2 = 87.10%). For closing wedge PTO, the proportion of patients who converted to TKA was 5.0% (95% CI, 1.0%-9.0%; I2 = 93.1%) and experienced a complication was 2.0% (95% CI, 1.0%-3.0%; I2 = 90.0%). Only 53.8% of studies that referenced RTS provided postoperative RTS rates, and 80% of studies that referenced RTW provided RTW rates. Only 1 study defined RTS criteria, no studies defined RTW criteria, and 31 different outcome measures were reported across all studies. Conclusion: Patients undergoing PTO for osteoarthritis, cartilage defects, and symptomatic malalignment of the knee experience high rates of RTS and RTW. These patients also experience low rates of complications and conversion to TKA, regardless of opening or closing wedge technique. Significant heterogeneity exists with regard to criteria used to define RTS and RTW and patient-reported outcome measures used to assess clinical and functional improvements after PTO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2295-2304
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • high tibial osteotomy
  • knee
  • proximal tibial osteotomy
  • sports
  • wedge
  • work


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