Surgical Options - Tibial Osteotomy


Tibial Osteotomy 

Knee arthritis is developing in younger people, possibly because more people are participating in sport to an older age and knee injury is a common cause of knee arthritis. Knee replacement surgery should be considered a final option when the knee joint cannot be salvaged. There are other options available, in particular when arthritis is confined to a single compartment and the knee is becoming misshapen, usually abnormally bowed. This will cause arthritis in the medial compartment of the knee.

In this situation, surgery can be performed to reduce the stresses in the medial compartment of the knee by performing an osteotomy of the upper tibia. The term “osteotomy” refers to an operation in which the bone is broken and realigned. The realignment is very accurate and is intended to transfer stresses from the medial compartment of the knee towards the centre and more lateral aspect of the knee joint. The osteotomy is stabilised with a plate and heals over a period of three to six months. This procedure is particularly useful in younger, more active individuals who may not be suitable for any type of arthroplasty and in whom non-surgical methods of treatment have failed. It can also be combined with other interventions within the knee joint, such as micro-fracture, mosaicplasty and articular cartilage transplantation (ACT) – see “Articular Cartilage” under the “Knee” section.

High tibial osteotomy using modern surgical techniques can be very effective in relieving knee pain. Overall, approximately 75% of cases will have lasting relief of knee pain up to 10 years.