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This procedure aligns the knee joint so the healthy part of the knee surface is able to do more weight-bearing. This takes pressure off the damaged part. Damage is often due to
osteoarthritis. This surgery may be done instead of a
total knee replacement. It may also be done to correct poor knee alignment for other reasons.
While osteotomy does not cure conditions like osteoarthritis, the surgery may:
Delay further damage to the joint
Postpone the need for total knee replacement surgery
There are many methods that can be used to perform an osteotomy. In one method, the doctor uses imaging technology to measure the piece of bone that will be removed. A cut is made in the skin from the knee cap to the top of the shinbone. Several thin wires are placed in the knee to serve as guides, showing where the bone should be cut. The doctor uses an oscillating saw to remove the bone wedge. The remaining parts of the bone will be held together with staples, screws, or a plate and screws. The doctor will stitch the tissue together and close the area.
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will block pain during the procedure. You will have pain after the procedure. Ask your doctor about medication to help manage pain.
Average Hospital Stay
You may need to stay in the hospital for 2-3 days. If you have any problems, you may need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
Right after the procedure, you will be taken to recovery and monitored closely. The staff may give you:
Antibiotics to prevent infection
Medication that prevents blood clots
Place padded bandages over the incision sites
Apply ice to reduce swelling
A splint or brace to hold the knee in the right position
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection such as:
Washing their hands
Wearing gloves or masks
Keeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as:
Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
Not allowing others to touch your incisions
To help ensure a smooth recovery at home, take these steps:
Apply ice or a cold pack to the area for 15-20 minutes four times a day. Wrap the ice in a towel. Do not apply it directly to your skin.
Elevate the injured leg to reduce swelling.
If you have a cast, follow the doctor’s instructions for taking care of your skin.
Use crutches or a walker. Avoid putting weight on your injured leg until your doctor gives you permission.
Keep the incision area clean and dry.
Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
Place a plastic covering over the incision areas if your doctor recommends keeping it dry.
Start working with a physical therapist once you are instructed to. The therapist will focus on balance, range-of-motion, and strength training.
Maintain a healthy weight after surgery.
Follow your doctor's instructions.
You will need to return to the doctor to have your cast removed or to have x-rays taken. Full recovery can take six months.
Degenerative joint disease of the knee. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated May 3, 2013. Accessed May 6, 2013.
Frequently asked questions: high tibial osteotomy. New England Musculoskeletal Institute website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed May 6, 2013.
Knee osteotomy. The Knee Society website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed May 6, 2013.
Knee replacement surgery. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed May 6, 2013.
Marti R, Verhagen R, Kerkhoffs G, Moojen T. Proximal tibial varus osteotomy.
J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2001;83-A(2):164-170
Wilson A. Knee osteotomy and painful osteoarthritis. Knee Guru Information Hub website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Published May 13, 2010. Accessed May 6, 2013.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance
http:/www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Am J Med.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.