Derotational osteotomy at the distal femur is effective to treat patients with patellar instability

Florian B. Imhoff, Matthias Cotic, Franz Liska, Felix G.E. Dyrna, Knut Beitzel, Andreas B. Imhoff, Elmar Herbst

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79 Scopus citations


Purpose: Increased femoral antetorsion influences patellofemoral joint kinematics. The aim of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the clinical outcome after derotational osteotomies and combined procedures in patients with patellofemoral instability. Methods: All patients with derotational osteotomies and combined procedures in patients with patellofemoral instability and increased femoral antetorsion performed between 2007 and 2016 were retrospectively analyzed. Exclusion criteria were open growth plates, posttraumatic deformities, and a follow-up period less than 12 months. Simple radiography and magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate cartilage lesions, trochlear dysplasia, tubercle distance, and osseous malalignment as frontal axis and torsion were performed on every patient. Patients were evaluated pre- and postoperatively using the visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) score, the subjective IKDC evaluation form, the Lysholm score, and the Tegner activity score. Results: Out of 222 femoral osteotomies, a total of 42 patients (44 knees) met the inclusion criteria. Mean preoperative femoral antetorsion of 31° (SD ± 9°) and mean valgus malalignment of 1° (SD ± 3°) were observed. An intended derotation of 12° (SD ± 5°) was set overall. The additional procedures included correction of valgus in 50% (n = 22), MPFL reconstruction in 64% (n = 28), patellofemoral arthroplasty in 18% (n = 8), trochleoplasty in 14% (n = 6), tibial tubercle transfer in 14% (n = 6). During the mean follow-up period of 44 months (SD ± 27, range 12–88), a total of five patients were lost to follow-up, resulting in a follow-up rate of 89% (n = 39). A significant pain relief from VAS 4 (SD ± 3) to VAS 2 (SD ± 2) (p = 0.006) as well as improved scores, WOMAC: from 80 (SD ± 14) to 88 (SD ± 16) (p = 0.007), Lysholm: from 46 (SD ± 21) to 71 (SD ± 24) (p < 0.001), IKDC: from 54 (SD ± 13) to 65 (SD ± 17) (p < 0.001), were observed postoperatively. During the follow-up period, no patellar re-dislocation was observed. Conclusion: Combined derotational osteotomy is a suitable treatment for patellar instability due to torsional malformity, as it leads to a significant reduction of pain, and a significant increase of knee function with good-to- excellent results in the short-term follow-up. Level of evidence: IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-658
Number of pages7
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 14 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Alignment correction
  • Derotational osteotomy
  • Patellofemoral instability
  • Torsional maltracking


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