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09.09.2019 | main topic | Ausgabe 23-24/2019 Open Access

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 23-24/2019

Analysis and quantification of bone healing after open wedge high tibial osteotomy

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift > Ausgabe 23-24/2019
Elena Nemecek, Catharina Chiari, Alexander Valentinitsch, Franz Kainberger, Gerhard Hobusch, Alexander Kolb, Lena Hirtler, Carmen Trost, Slobodan Vukicevic, Prof. Dr. Reinhard Windhager
Wichtige Hinweise
The original version of this article was revised: The presentation of Table 4 was incorrect.
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00508-019-01568-x.

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The aim of this study was to analyze radiographic imaging techniques and to quantify bone ossification in the osteotomy gap after high tibial osteotomy.

Material and methods

Study phase 1: high tibial osteotomy was performed on six lower extremities of human body donors and experimental X‑rays and computed tomography (CT) scans were applied. Different techniques were evaluated by three specialists for best representation of the osteotomy gap.
Study phase 2: optimized radiological techniques were used for follow-up on 12 patients. The radiographs were examined by 3 specialists measuring 10 different parameters. The CT scans were analyzed with semiautomatic computer software for quantification of bone ossification.


The osteotomy gap was best represented in 30° of flexion in the knee and 20° internal rotation of the leg. There were significant changes of the medial width over time (p < 0.019) as well as of the length of fused osteotomy, the Schröter score, sclerosis, trabecular structure and zone area measurements. Sclerosis, medial width of the osteotomy and area measurements were detected as reproducible parameters. Bone mineral density was calculated using CT scans, showing a significantly higher value 12 weeks postoperatively (112.5 mg/cm3) than at baseline (54.6 mg/cm3). The ossification of the gap was visualized by color coding.


Sclerosis and medial width of the osteotomy gap as well as area measurements were determined as reproducible parameters for evaluation of bone healing. Quantification of bone ossification can be calculated with CT scans using a semiautomatic computer program and should be used for research in bone healing.

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