Osteotomy of the knee is surgery that involves making a cut in one of the bones in your lower leg. This can be done to relieve symptoms of arthritis.
There are two types of surgery:
In most cases, the procedure will take 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Osteotomy of the knee is done to treat symptoms of knee arthritis. It is done when other treatments no longer offer relief.
Arthritis most often affects the inside part of the knee. Most of the time, the outside part of the knee is not affected unless you have had a knee injury in the past.
Osteotomy surgery works by shifting the weight away from the damaged part of your knee. For the surgery to be successful, the side of the knee where the weight is being shifted should have little or no arthritis.
The risks for any anesthesia or surgery are:
Other risks from this surgery include:
Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
During the 2 weeks before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
By having an osteotomy, you may be able to delay the need for a knee replacement for up to 10 years, but still stay active.
A tibial osteotomy may make you look "knock-kneed." A femoral osteotomy may make you look "bow legged."
Your doctor may fit you with a brace to limit how much you're able to move your knee during the recovery period. The brace may also help hold your knee in the correct position.
You will need to use crutches for 6 weeks or more. At first, you may be asked to not place any weight on your knee. Ask your doctor when it will be OK to walk with weight on your leg that had the surgery. You will see a physical therapist to help you with an exercise program.
Complete recovery may take several months to a year.
Proximal tibial osteotomy; Lateral closing wedge osteotomy; High tibial osteotomy; Distal femoral osteotomy
Crenshaw AH. Soft tissue procedures and corrective osteotomies about the knee. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 9.
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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