© 2018 OA Knee Pain. All Rights Reserved.

An osteotomy is performed to correct a joint deformity, like X- or O-legs or a hip dysplasia, that has caused osteoarthritis. The procedure includes evening out pressure on the joints, and can, for example, involve a wedge being cut out of the upper thigh bone to align the knee joint. The upper thigh bone is then stabilised with a metal plate.

Why is osteotomy used?

You are likely to undergo osteotomy if you become aware that your leg has bowed. Although this procedure does not return the knee to normal, it does prevent the injury from causing further damage by preventing your weight from being carried on the inner part of the knee. This can result in a walking impairment and lasting pain in the knee. For many patients, an osteotomy delays the need for a total knee replacement.

About the procedure

Tibial osteotomy is usually performed under general anaesthetic and takes one to two hours. The surgeon will make a small incision just below the knee to cut and remove part of the healthy bone from the outside of the tibia. A metal plate or pins will be used to bring together the remaining healthy bones, allowing more space for the damaged part of the knee to move so you carry your weight comfortably.

A cast or brace may be given to you to protect your knee as it heals, and you may be required to remain in a hospital for a couple of days after the procedure. A physiotherapist will be assigned to give you gentle exercises to get your knee moving around and crutches will need to be used for the first couple of weeks.

Advantages of osteotomy

Benefits of osteotomy include:

  • Delays knee replacement surgery
  • Not as much risk of infection
  • Can remain active for longer

Risks of osteotomy

As with most surgical procedures, there are general risks to be wary of. This includes the dangers of general anaesthesia, which should be discussed with you before your operation, and the side effects of surgery, including bruising, swelling, tenderness and stiffness. However, there are certain risks related to osteotomy - this includes:

  • A curved scar on your leg about 10cm long
  • One leg being shorter than the other (although this is usually unnoticeable)
  • Pain in the knee
  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels

You should always be asked for consent before undergoing any kind of surgical procedure.

Recovery

During your time in the hospital, your leg should be elevated to reduce swelling and you should be given antibiotics for 24 hours through an intravenous drip. Any movement should be supervised by a physiotherapist and assistance should be provided where necessary. You will be discharged from hospital when the physiotherapist is confident you can support yourself on crutches.

An appointment will be made for two weeks after your surgery, but if you have any problems before then, it is important you speak to your GP or the clinic where your surgery was performed.

Healing usually takes up to six months and it will take up to a year to feel the full benefits of the surgery.

How would you rate the information on this page? (Your feedback is greatly appreciated)

Sign up to the OA Knee Pain newsletter

OA Knee Pain Social Board

Bringing you the latest news, research and treatment breakthroughs from the world of osteoarthritis

Visit our blog

Filter
  • twitter
  • blog
#

​5 most important questions to ask your doctor about OA


We all experience aches and pains from time to time. Normally this isn’t a problem. However, when pains become regular they become a cause of concern. Recurring pain or discomfort in the joints may be indications of the onset of osteoarthritis – a condition which, as we age, gradually damages the surfaces of the joints so the joint doesn’t move as smoothly.

#

​What are the best sources of vitamin C?


We all require vitamin C to maintain good health, and luckily, it's one of the easier vitamins for us to take in through our diets. Vitamin C is found in a huge variety of fruits and vegetables, meaning even the fussiest eaters should be able to find something to their taste. Vitamin C is beneficial to us in all kinds of ways, including helping to maintain our cartilage and blood vessels. It also helps our bodies create dopamine, ATP, tyrosine and peptide hormones. One of the things vitamin C is perhaps best known for is its antioxidant properties. It actually helps reduce oxidative stress to your body, and is even thought to help lower your risk of cancer. This is a pretty impressive list of benefits for a vitamin often given less attention than many others, in the media and health articles.

#

​What to expect following knee replacement surgery


There are broadly two different types of knee replacement surgery. These are known as partial (sometimes called unilateral) knee replacement, and total or full knee replacement. You may also hear knee replacement being referred to as arthroplasty. Your surgeon will decide which option is best for you depending upon the state of your knee. Partial knee replacement is less invasive and involves less downtime, so if this is a possibility for you, your surgeon will always prefer to choose this option. However, partial knee replacements run a greater risk of the need for revision surgery, so your surgeon will carefully weigh this risk against the short-term benefits.

Treatments for Osteoarthtitis


It has been estimated that the number of people in the UK with osteoarthritis is around 8.75 million with almost half that figure suffering from knee OA. This means that a third of the population aged 45 and older have sought treatment for their condition.

#

What are the long term effects of pharmaceuticals in managing osteoarthritis?


​Osteoarthritis is a condition that affects your joints. It is caused by everyday wear and tear rather than any specific immune condition, but it is still painful and can be debilitating. It is caused when the cartilage that covers and protects the ends of your bones, where they join, becomes roughened and thickened. The bone underneath the cartilage also thickens, as do the ligaments, the synovium (the inner layer of the joint capsule) and the capsule itself. Sometimes extra synovial fluid is produced, which causes the joint to swell.

#

What are the long term effects of having knee replacement surgery?


Knee replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, involves replacing a damaged, diseased or worn knee joint with an artificial joint. It is an increasingly common surgery, with the majority of patients aged between 60 and 80. There are an increasing number of younger patients undergoing this surgical procedure, however, meaning that more and more people are dealing with the long-term effects.

#

What are the top super foods to look out for in 2018?


Superfoods should be incorporated into your daily meals and snacks for optimum results, and should be treated as a regular part of your diet rather than just eaten occasionally when you're on a health kick. All the superfoods in this article are readily available, easy to cook, and complement a number of popular everyday dishes. There's no reason to change your eating habits in order to incorporate superfoods into your diet - most meals can benefit from the addition of one or two of the superfoods from our list.

#

​What are the most popular treatment options for hip osteoarthritis?


Hip osteoarthritis is a condition that results in the degeneration of cartilage in the hip joint area. When cartilage is lost, friction increases and leads to pain and stiffness. The condition is fairly common and affects around 11% or the population over the age of 45. There is a range of treatment options available to sufferers. However, every treatment has its strengths and weaknesses, and these should be considered carefully.

#

​Is surgery for osteoarthritis of the knee becoming less popular?


The pain of osteoarthritis of the knee can be almost unbearable, and as one of the most common forms of joint problems, it affects a huge number of patients every year. Eventually, when the knee joint becomes severely damaged, the only real solution is surgery, but there are plenty of options available to sufferers before reaching that point.