Mechanical comparison of fixation techniques for the tibial tubercle osteotomy.
Tibial tubercle osteotomies currently are used as an exposure technique for revision total knee arthroplasty and for distal patellofemoral realignment. A review of the literature reveals no biomechanical studies that evaluate methods of osteotomy fixation in terms of static strength. This study evaluates the fixation strength of common techniques used to repair tibial tubercle osteotomies. Bevel and stepcut tibial tubercle osteotomies were created in 36 anatomic specimen knees and were repaired with either two 4.5-mm cortical screws or 18-gauge stainless steel cerclage wire. The failure load for the bevelcut osteotomies repaired with two-screws was 1,654 +/- 359 N; for the bevelcut osteotomies repaired with three cerclage wires, 622 +/- 283 N; for the stepcut osteotomies repaired with three cerclage wires, was 984 +/- 441 N; and for the stepcut osteotomy repaired with four cerclage wires, 1,099 +/- 632 N. This study shows that two bicortical screws provide the greatest static fixation strength for repairing tibial tubercle osteotomies. When repairing tibial tubercle osteotomies for distal patellofemoral realignment, screw fixation would provide the most reliable fixation. However, the placement of screws around the stem of a revision arthroplasty tibial component is difficult. Cerclage wires are easier to place and provide solid static fixation, especially with the addition of a proximal stepcut osteotomy.
Davis, K; Caldwell, P; Wayne, J; Jiranek, WA
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