Osteotomy is basically the surgical sectioning of a bone that happens to correct a restoration or deformity of the skeleton. The reasons may be either by malunion of a fracture, or by some congenital or acquired anomalies. One of osteotomy’s most common uses, for example, is to correct a deformity of the hip joint.

What is osteotomy?

Osteotomy is the name given to a surgery that involves cuts made in the bones. It is usually prescribed for lower bones such as the tibia and femur. The main reason is often to fix alignment issues that affect the patient’s mobility. But, it is a procedure that can be indicated for different types of treatment.

When is osteotomy indicated?

In general, osteotomy is indicated when there is poor knee alignment associated with isolated wear of one of the compartments (medial or lateral), but with preservation of the opposite compartment.

One of the types of use of osteotomy is to perform a surgical access route, in which there is a removal of bone with a segment of tendon. However, it is more common for it to happen for the correction of bone deformities, seeking to improve the alignment and length of the bones, treatment of pseudarthrosis and osteomyelitis, as well as for the placement of prostheses, performing arthrodesis (joint fusion) and even amputations.

Osteotomy can be indicated for any part of the body

  • Dentists perform orthognathic osteotomies to correct the mandible. 
  • Neurosurgeons use the skull to access the brain and central nervous system structures. 
  • Spine surgeons occasionally perform this surgery to correct severe deformities in the spine. 
  • Thoracic and cardiac surgeons perform osteotomy of the ribs and sternum to be able to access vital structures such as the heart, lung, and large blood vessels in the thoracic region.

In other words, osteotomy is frequently used in different surgical areas of medicine, not just restricted to orthopedics.


Who can benefit from knee osteotomy?

Who can benefit from knee osteotomy?

Making sure the patient is a good candidate for surgery is important to help ensure a good outcome. For osteotomy to be a procedure that suits your case, you can fit in any of these characteristics:

  • Have mild to moderate osteoarthritis, affecting only one side of the knee and little or no damage on the other side;
  • Be relatively young (40 to 65 years of age);
  • Not be overweight;;
  • Have good knee mobility
  • You are experiencing significant pain, either caused by physical activity or after standing for a long period of time;
  • Wanting to remain physically active and willing to commit to a long post-surgical physical therapy regimen.

What is the recovery time from an osteotomy surgery?

It can take 3 to 6 months for osteotomy patients to walk normally and regain full range of motion. The return to high impact sports can range from 6 months to 1 year. In some cases it can be necessary to practice physical therapy and have more constant visits to your doctor.