When conservative treatments for osteoarthritis, fail to relieve pain and restore function to the affected joint, it may be time to consider surgical intervention. When most patients think of joint surgery, they think of total joint replacement. But, there are other, procedures indicated for relieving joint pains in Knee OA. There is arthroscopic surgery, arthrodesis (fusion), minimally-invasive replacement of knee, unicompartmental knee surgery, and, of course, osteotomy of the knee.
What is Osteotomy?
Osteotomy is a surgical procedure that involves bone cutting. This procedure involves reshaping the bones to improve knee alignment. The surgeon repositions the joint to move the mechanical axis of weight bearing for the limb away from the damaged area. This shifts the stresses of weight bearing from the damaged section to a healthier part of the knee where there is more normal or healthy cartilage. Ultimately, the procedure allows weight to be distributed more evenly across the joint cartilage. Once the wedge of bone is removed, the surgeon brings the bones that remain together and uses staples, fixators or plates to secure them.
Who is a Candidate for Osteotomy?
An osteotomy may be recommended if damage to knee cartilage is primarily in one section (compartment) of the knee. The inside compartment, where the inner knob of the femoral condyle meets the top of the tibia, is most commonly involved.Generally, people who are under 50 years old, active are considered appropriate candidates for osteotomy. The patient must also have uneven joint damage, deformity that is correctable and no signs of Inflammation
The Benefits of Osteotomy
Recovering from Osteotomy
Crutches are needed for between I and 3 months. Patients may also have a splint for 4 to 8 weeks. Physical therapy, leg-strengthening exercises, and walking are part of the full rehabilitation program. While return to full activities ispossible after 3 to 6 months, sometimes it may take up to a year to adjust to the corrected position of the knee after knee osteotomy. Many people who have an osteotomy will eventually need a total knee replacement (arthroplasty).
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