Osteotomy in medical terms signifies "cutting of the bone." When the term ‘knee osteotomy’ is used, it indicates cutting of either the shinbone (tibia) or the thighbone (femur). After the cutting, these are reshaped to mitigate any pressure or weight on the knee joint.
Knee osteotomy is done when a patient is in the initial stage of osteoarthritis, and when only one side of his/her knee joint has been damaged. In knee osteotomy, the weight from the damaged side or joint is being shifted, and in such a way, a patient can be relieved from an arthritic knee.
Osteoarthritis is being generated when the bones connected to the leg and knee don’t line up appropriately. Due to the lack of alignment among the bones, the stress or pressure on the outer as well as, the internal side of the knee gets increased. If it is not treated on time, then it affects the smooth functioning of articular cartilage, which is responsible for protecting bones. In turn, the knee becomes stiff and pains a lot.
The arthritis issue in the knee can be termed as knee inflammation. Most of the times, osteotomy for knee arthritis is being done on the shinbone, i.e., tibia. It is done in the tibia so that the disarrangement generated inside the knee can be corrected.
While the treatment is being done, a wedge (triangular piece) of bone is being cut from the healthy or outer part of the knee. When the cut wedge is being closed by the doctor, the leg regains its strength.
Once this process is being done, the knee becomes healthy again as the bones get intact and come closer. In turn, the recovery starts. One simple logic works for the same is that the less gap among bones means the healthier the knee joint is. Thus, the knee gets capable of bearing the weight again and that too evenly. Which, as a result, eases the stress on the painful joint.
Osteotomy of the thighbone, i.e., the femur is also performed following the same technology. It is being done in order to align the knock-kneed arrangement.
Treatment Followed by Surgery
The patient is supposed to be admitted to the hospital on the same day when the surgery is to be done.
Before the Surgery
Before starting the surgery, the anesthesia evaluation is being done of the patient. Then the respective doctor belonging to the anesthesia department considers the patient’s medical history and evaluates the needed anesthesia options and doses for the patient. Anesthesia can be given in two forms, either spinal (patient stays awake but his/her body gets numb), or general (patient is being put to sleep).
After this process is being done, the surgeon comes to see the patient in order to confirm the further proceedings.
During the Surgery
A surgery related to a knee osteotomy generally lasts in between 1 to 2 hours.
The surgeon starts the operation starting from the position below the patient’s kneecap. The doctor eventually concludes the size of the wedge that is to be removed while using the guide wires. With the help of the guide wires, the surgeon cuts the wedge using an oscillating saw. To fill up the space created by keeping the wedge out of the knee, the surgeon brings all the bones together. To do this, a plate is being inserted, and screws are being fitted in order to keep the bones in place and intact unless and until the osteotomy gets healed. This process is generally called a closing wedge osteotomy.
The another type of osteotomy in which the I holds specialization is opening wedge osteotomy. In this type, the cut wedge of the bone is kept opened instead of being closed, and then a bone graft is added to fill in the space. It is another popular way to make the osteotomy heal properly.
Once the surgery is being done, the patient is transferred to the recovery room where he/she recovers from the effect of anesthesia. Then, the patient is kept under observation for some time to make sure if all the things have been done accordingly.