Tibial tubercle osteotomy for exposure of the difficult total knee arthroplasty

Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1990 Nov:(260):6-9.


Tibial tubercle osteotomy provides a safe and reliable means of extensile exposure of the knee. A technique was developed using a long osteoperiosteal segment including the tibial tubercle and upper tibial crest leaving lateral muscular attachments intact to this bone fragment. The bone fragment was reattached to its bed with two cobalt-chromium wires passed through the fragment and through the medial tibial cortex. The procedure was used in 71 knees to expose the joint for total knee arthroplasty, and the follow-up period was one to five years. All healed uneventfully, and no significant complications occurred. Mean postoperative flexion was 97 degrees. No extension lag occurred, and mean flexion contracture was 2.5 degrees. Excellent exposure can be achieved by means of a viable bone flap below the knee. Early rehabilitation and weight bearing can be done with low potential for complications.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Knee Prosthesis*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteotomy / methods*
  • Tibia / surgery*