Proximal fibular osteotomy relieves pain in spontaneous osteonecrosis of the knee: A retrospective study

Yu Sheng Chen, Min De Ang, Chyun Yu Yang, Chih Wei Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Spontaneous osteonecrosis of the knee (SONK) causes knee pain and joint motion limitation. Ischemia or insufficiency fracture may be the cause, but no consensus has been developed. Proximal fibular osteotomy (PFO) has been reported to relieve pain from osteoarthritis through medial compartment decompression. We reviewed the effect of this procedure on medial compartment SONK patients and explored clinical and radiological results. Since January 2018 to January 2020, the data of 12 knees (8 right and 4 left) from 11 SONK patients (9 women and 2 men) who received PFO were analyzed. The average age was 61.5 years. The diagnosis of SONK was established through weight-bearing anterior-posterior radiographs or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Visual analog scale (VAS) scores, Oxford knee score (OKS), Femorotibial angle (FTA), medial joint space, and lateral joint space were documented preoperatively and at follow up visits. Outcome assessment for the clinical and radiographic data was reviewed at 12- and 24-month follow-up visits. The mean follow up period was 33 months. All patients were able to walk with or without cane assistance the day after surgery. Both VAS score and OKS (preoperative: 6.6 ± 0.9 and 24.7 ± 3.8, respectively) improved significantly at the 12-month follow-up, and to 24-month follow-up (3.6 ± 1.3 and 35.6 ± 4.5, respectively, P <.05). Medial joint space ratio increased from 0.36 to 0.50 (P <.05). Changes of FTA were insignificant at any point of follow up. Four patients underwent follow-up MRI, and a decrease in the osteonecrotic area was clearly observed in 2 patients. By achieving medial knee decompression, PFO allowed quick weight-bearing recovery, pain relief, and improvement in knee function in SONK patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E29585
JournalMedicine (United States)
Issue number30
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul 29

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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