Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, La Paz University Hospital, Madrid, Spain
Background: The aim of this review article is to analyze the results of high tibial osteotomy compared to unicompartmental knee arthroplasty in patients with unicompartmental knee osteoarthritis.
Methods: The search engine used was PubMed. The keywords were: "high tibial osteotomy versus unicompartmental knee arthroplasty". Twenty-one articles were found on 28 February 2015, but only eighteen were selected and reviewed because they strictly focused on the topic. Results: In a meta-analysis the ratio for an excellent outcome was higher in unicompartmental knee arthroplasty than high tibial osteotomy and the risks of revision and complications were lower in the former. A prospective comparative study showed that unicompartmental knee arthroplasty offers better long-term success (77% for unicompartmental knee arthroplasty and 60% for high tibial osteotomy at 7-10 years). However, a review of the literature showed no evidence of superior results of one treatment over the other. A multicenter study stated that unicompartmental knee osteoarthritis without constitutional deformity should be treated with unicompartmental knee arthroplasty while in cases with constitutional deformity high tibial osteotomy should be indicated. A case control study stated that unicompartmental knee arthroplasty offers a viable alternative to high tibial osteotomy if proper patient selection is done. Conclusion: The literature is still controversial regarding the best surgical treatment for unicompartmental knee osteoarthritis (high tibial osteotomy or unicompartmental knee arthroplasty). However, unicompartmental knee arthroplasty utilization is increasing, while high tibial osteotomy utilization is decreasing, and a meta-analysis has shown better outcomes and less risk of revision and complications in the former. A systematic review has found that with correct patient selection, both procedures show effective and reliable results. However, prospective randomized studies are needed in order to answer the question of this article.