Favorable rates of return to activity and work following lateral closing wedge distal femoral osteotomy for femoral-based symptomatic varus malalignment: an analysis at a mean 6-year follow-up

Marco Christopher Rupp, Alexander Themessl, Michael Merkle, David Insam, Maximilian Hinz, Franziska L. Breulmann, Andrea Achtnich, Julian Mehl, Sebastian Siebenlist, Lukas N. Muench

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate return to sport (RTS), work (RTW) and clinical outcomes following lateral closing wedge distal femoral osteotomy (LCW-DFO) for symptomatic femoral varus malalignment. Methods: Consecutive patients who underwent LCW-DFO for symptomatic varus malalignment between 12/2007 and 03/2018 were included. The International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) Score, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), Lysholm score, Tegner Activity Scale, and visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain were collected preoperatively and at a minimum of 24 months postoperatively. RTS and RTW were assessed by questionnaire. Results: Thirty-two patients (mean age: 45.9 ± 12.3 years), who underwent LCW-DFO for femoral-based varus malalignment (6.4 ± 3.0°), were included at a mean follow-up of 72.7 ± 39.1 months. The patient collective significantly improved in IKDC (51.8 ± 12.3 to 61.8 ± 21.5, p = 0.010; 95% CI = 3–21), WOMAC (26.7 ± 17.6 to 12.5 ± 13.5; p < 0.001; 95% CI = 21–6) and Lysholm (46.5 ± 19.4 to 67.9 ± 22.8 points (p < 0.01; 95% CI = 9–31)) scores at final follow-up. The VAS for pain reduced significantly postoperatively (4.8 ± 2.3 points to 2.6 ± 2.3 points (p = 0.002; 95% CI = 0–3)). Following LCW-DFO, 96% of patients returned to sports at a mean of 5.3 ± 2.9 months. Yet, a shift to lower impact sports compared to one year preoperatively was observed, with patients participating in a significantly lower number of high-impact disciplines (p = 0.024) and fewer hours in high-impact sports (p = 0.034). Twenty-three out of 24 patients returned to work at a mean 11.4 ± 10.9 weeks, with 18 patients reporting a similar or superior working ability. Conclusion: Undergoing isolated LCW-DFO for symptomatic femoral-based varus malalignment enabled the vast majority of patients to RTS and RTW along with a significant functional improvement at mid-term follow-up. However, patients’ expectations have to be adequately managed regarding a limited probability to return to high-impact sports and work after surgery. Level of evidence: Retrospective case series; Level IV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3151-3159
Number of pages9
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Volume31
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Clinical outcomes
  • Distal femoral osteotomy
  • Functional outcomes
  • Lateral closing wedge
  • PROMs
  • Return to sports
  • Return to work
  • Varus deformity

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