Osteotomy Around Knee
Osteotomy literally means "cutting of the bone." In a knee osteotomy, either the tibia (shinbone) or femur (thighbone) is cut and then reshaped to relieve pressure on the knee joint.
Knee osteotomy is used when a patient has early-stage osteoarthritis that has damaged just one side of the knee joint. By shifting weight off of the damaged side of the joint, an osteotomy can relieve pain and significantly improve function in an arthritic knee.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Knee osteotomy has three goals:
- To transfer weight from the arthritic part of the knee to a healthier area
- To correct poor knee alignment
- To prolong the lifespan of the knee joint
One advantage of the procedure is that, by preserving your own knee anatomy, a successful osteotomy may delay the need for a joint replacement for several years. Another advantage is that there are no restrictions on physical activities after an osteotomy—you will be able to participate in your favorite activities, even high-impact exercise.
Osteotomy does have disadvantages. For example, pain relief is not as predictable after osteotomy compared with a partial or total knee replacement. And recovery from osteotomy is typically longer and more difficult because you may not be able to bear weight on your operated knee right away.
In some cases, having had an osteotomy can make later knee replacement surgery more challenging.
Because results from total knee replacement and partial knee replacement have been so successful, knee osteotomy has become less common. Nevertheless, it remains an option for many patients.
Candidates for Knee Osteotomy
Knee osteotomy is most effective for thin, active patients who are less than 60 years old. Good candidates have pain on only one side of the knee, and no pain under the kneecap. Knee pain should be brought on mostly by activity, as well as by standing for a long period of time.
Candidates should be able to fully straighten the knee and bend it at least 90 degrees.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are not good candidates for osteotomy. Your orthopaedic surgeon will help you determine whether a knee osteotomy is suited for you.
- Hospital discharge In most cases, patients go home 1 to 2 days after an osteotomy.
- Pain management After surgery, you will feel some pain, but your surgeon and nurses will make every effort to help you feel as comfortable as possible.
- Many types of pain medication are available to help control pain, including opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and local anesthetics. Treating pain with medications can help you feel more comfortable, which will help your body heal faster and recover from surgery faster.
- Opioids can provide excellent pain relief, however, they are a narcotic and can be addictive. It is important to use opioids only as directed by your doctor. You should stop taking these medications as soon as your pain starts to improve.
- Weight bearing After the operation, you will most likely need to use crutches for several weeks. Your surgeon may also put your knee in a brace or cast for protection while the bone heals. Your surgeon will give you instructions about when weight bearing can begin.
- Doctor visit You will see your surgeon for a follow-up visit after surgery. X-rays will be taken so that he or she can check how well the osteotomy has healed. After the follow-up, your surgeon will tell you when it is safe to put weight on your leg, and when you can start rehabilitation.
- Rehabilitation exercises During rehabilitation, a physical therapist will give you exercises to help maintain range of motion in your knee and restore your strength.
You may be able to resume your full activities 3 to 6 months after surgery.
For most patients, osteotomy is successful in relieving pain and delaying the progression of arthritis in the knee. It can allow a younger patient to lead a more active lifestyle for many years. Even though many patients will ultimately require a total knee replacement, an osteotomy can be an effective way to buy time until a replacement is required.
To schedule an appointment with one of our surgeons, please call +91-9999611628, or request for an appointment here.