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Knee realignment (osteotomy) surgery
Knee osteotomy is commonly used to realign your knee structure if you have arthritic damage on only one side of your knee. The aim is to shift your body weight off the damaged area to the other side of your knee, where the cartilage is still healthy. When surgeons remove a small section of your shinbone from underneath the healthy side of your knee, the shinbone and thighbone can bend away from the damaged cartilage.
Osteotomy is also used as an alternative treatment to total knee replacement in younger and active patients. Because prosthetic knees may wear out over time, an osteotomy procedure can enable younger, active osteoarthritis patients to continue using the healthy portion of their knee. The procedure can delay the need for a total knee replacement for up to ten years.
What is knee realignment (osteotomy) surgery?
Depending on where osteoarthritis has damaged your cartilage, an osteotomy removes a section of bone from different areas of your shinbone. The most common type of osteotomy performed on arthritic knees is a high-tibial osteotomy, which addresses cartilage damage on the inside portion of your knee.
During a high-tibial osteotomy, surgeons remove a sectione of bone from the outside of your knee, which causes your leg to bend slightly inward. It is like realigning a bowlegged knee to a knock-kneed position. Your weight is transferred to the outside (lateral) portion of your knee where the cartilage is still healthy.