Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy in Revision Knee Arthroplasty

J Arthroplasty. 2017 Mar;32(3):903-907. doi: 10.1016/j.arth.2016.08.029. Epub 2016 Sep 3.


Background: Obtaining adequate exposure while maintaining the integrity of the extensor mechanism is crucial to the success of revision knee arthroplasty. This is particularly important in infected cases where staged procedures are necessary. While the use of a long, tibial tubercle osteotomy (TTO) is an established method to improve exposure, controversy still exists concerning complication rates and sequential use.

Methods: Forty-two TTOs were performed in revision knee arthroplasties between 2009 and 2015. Follow-up period ranged from 3 to 24 months. Twenty-four TTOs were performed for single-stage revisions, and 18 TTOs were performed for 2-stage infected revisions. In infected cases, the initial osteotomy was left unfixed between stages. Screws were used to fix the osteotomy flap in all cases.

Results: All osteotomies united with no fractures, and there were no extensor lags. Minor proximal migration was noted in 1 case, and refixation was required in another. Greater range of motion (ROM) and improved Oxford Knee Scores were achieved in the single-stage revision group. In the infected 2-stage group, sequential use did not decrease union rates, and infection was eradicated in 14 of the 16 knees (88%).

Conclusion: We conclude that TTO is a safe and reproducible procedure when exposure needs improving in revision knee arthroplasty. In 2-stage revisions, sequential osteotomies do not decrease union rates, and leaving the osteotomy unfixed after the first stage does not cause any adverse issues.

Keywords: exposure; osteotomy; revision knee arthroplasty; screws; sequential; tibial tubercle.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee / methods*
  • Bone Screws
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteotomy / methods*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Reoperation / methods*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Flaps
  • Tibia / surgery*