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22.10.2018 | KNEE | Ausgabe 7/2019 Open Access

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 7/2019

Eight respectively nine out of ten patients return to sport and work after distal femoral osteotomy

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy > Ausgabe 7/2019
Alexander Hoorntje, Berbke T. van Ginneken, P. Paul F. M. Kuijer, Koen L. M. Koenraadt, Rutger C. I. van Geenen, Gino M. M. J. Kerkhoffs, Ronald J. van Heerwaarden
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00167-018-5206-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Distal femoral osteotomy (DFO) is a well-accepted procedure for the treatment of femoral deformities and associated symptoms including osteoarthritis, especially in younger and physically active patients in whom knee arthroplasty is undesirable. Still, there is an apparent need for evidence on relevant patient outcomes, including return to sport (RTS) and work (RTW), to further justify the use of knee osteotomy instead of surgical alternatives. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the extent and timing of patients’ RTS and RTW after DFO.


This monocentre, retrospective cohort study included consecutive DFO patients, operated between 2012 and 2015. Out of 126 eligible patients (18–70 years, 63% female), all patients responded, and 100 patients completed the questionnaire. Median follow-up was 3.4 years (range 1.5–5.2). The predominant indication for surgery was symptomatic unicompartmental osteoarthritis and valgus or varus leg alignment caused by a femoral deformity. The primary outcome measure was the percentage of RTS and RTW. Secondary outcome measures included time to RTS/RTW, sports level and frequency, the median pre-symptomatic and postoperative Tegner activity score (1–10, higher is more active) and the postoperative Lysholm score (0–100, higher is better).


Out of 84 patients participating in sports preoperatively, 65 patients (77%) returned to sport postoperatively. Forty-six patients (71%) returned to sports within 6 months. Postoperative participation in high-impact sports was possible though less frequent compared to preoperative participation. Out of 80 patients working preoperatively, 73 (91%) returned to work postoperatively, of whom 59 patients (77%) returned within 6 months. The median pre-symptomatic Tegner activity score [4.0 (range 0–10)] was significantly higher (p < 0.01) than the reported Tegner score at follow-up [3.0 (range 0–10)]. The mean Lysholm score at follow-up was 68 (± 22). No significant differences were found between the osteoarthritis- and non-osteoarthritis group.


Eight out of ten patients return to sport and nine out of ten patients return to work after DFO. These are clinically relevant findings, because they further justify DFO as a surgical alternative to KA in young, active knee OA patients who wish to return to high activity levels.

Level of evidence

Retrospective cohort study, Level III.

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