Knee Osteotomy

What is Knee Osteotomy?

Knee osteotomy is a surgical procedure in which the upper shinbone (tibia) or lower thighbone (femur) is cut and ‘realigned’. It is usually performed in arthritic conditions affecting only one side of your knee and the aim is to take pressure off the damaged area and shift it to the other side of your knee with healthy cartilage.

Indications of Knee Osteotomy

Knee Osteotomy is commonly indicated for patients with osteoarthritis that is isolated to a single compartment (unicompartmental osteoarthritis).

Knee Osteotomy Procedure

A high tibial osteotomy is the most common type of osteotomy performed on arthritic knees. A detailed pre-operative plan is made using computer software to calculate the exact correction required in the operation.

After general anaesthesia is administered, your surgeon will make  a four- to five-inch cut is made down the side of the shin to access the surface of the tibia . Guide wires are drilled from the medial (inner) side to the top of the shinbone. A conventional oscillating saw is run underneath the guide wires to create the ‘cut’ and then the leg is moved into its predetermined position and fixed with a plate and screws. After the procedure is completed, the surgical site is then sutured usually with non-absorbable nylon sutures.

Potential complications of Knee Osteotomy

Complications following high tibial osteotomy may include infection, skin necrosis, non-union (failure of the bones to heal), nerve injury, blood vessel injury, failure to correct the varus deformity, compartment syndrome and deep vein thrombosis or blood clots.

If you are considering an osteomy please refer to the Osteotomy Procedure Information Booklet.