An Osteotomy is a surgical procedure performed around the knee joint to help relieve pain and improve function in patients with early osteoarthritis (wear and tear) once non-operative treatment has failed. It involves cutting either the tibia (shin bone) or the femur (thigh bone) and realigning the leg to help relieve pressure in the painful arthritic part of the knee joint.
Osteotomy of the knee is usually indicated in younger, more active patients whose arthritis is at an early stage and in only one part of the knee joint. However, with preoperative digital planning and modern surgical techniques increasing accuracy and safety it has been shown to have good results in older patients wishing to avoid joint replacement. Osteoarthritis can develop when the bones of your knee and leg do not align properly putting added stress onto the joint surface causing wear and tear. Patients are either “knock kneed” or “bow legged”. Realigning your knee and leg will shift your weight off the damaged side of the knee helping to relieve pain, improve your function and delay further progression of the arthritis. Where only one side of your knee joint is affected, and you have a deformity of your leg, an osteotomy is preferred to a total knee replacement. A specialist knee consultant will need to review a range of investigations/images and assess your suitability for the procedure.
Osteotomy aims at relieving pain and preserving your own knee joint delaying the need for a knee joint replacement for some years. It can allow a younger patient to lead a more active lifestyle for many years. Unlike after a knee replacement (where there are limitations in what you are allowed to do). Following full recovery, you will be permitted to return to your full activities, even impact sports, if you are able and wish to. Over 90% of patients feel a significant improvement in their knee following an Osteotomy. In the future if your arthritis has progressed you can still have a knee replacement.
Below is a case study of one of Mr Chatoo's patients who underwent knee osteotomy surgery: