Proximal tibial osteotomy

What is proximal tibial osteotomy surgery?

‘Osteotomy’ means cutting of the bone. During proximal tibial osteotomy surgery, a wedge-shaped piece of bone from the tibia (shinbone) is cut out and reshaped to re-align the knee joint rather than having to replace the joint entirely.

When is proximal tibial osteotomy surgery recommended?

Proximal tibial osteotomy surgery is a potential option for younger patients who have osteoarthritis which has damaged just one part of the knee often as a result of being bow-legged. By re-aligning the joint and shifting weight and stress from the affected area, an osteotomy can relieve pain and enable a patient to resume sport and other activities. Many patients who have an osteotomy will go on to have a total knee replacement (LINK TO TKR) later in life.

What does proximal tibial osteotomy surgery involve?

Dr Kennedy will discuss the risks and benefits of proximal tibial osteotomy surgery with you during the consultation.

The surgery requires an open incision along the side of the knee and upper leg. The tibia is cut with a saw, and after the knee alignment has been corrected, the bone is fixed together with a metal plate and screws to allow it to heal.

The surgery usually involves a stay in hospital and the use of crutches for several weeks afterwards. You may also need to wear a brace or a cast to protect the bone as it heals.

How long will it take to recover from proximal tibial osteotomy surgery?

Recovery varies from patient to patient. The bone will take at least six weeks to heal, sometimes longer. You will need to participate in a rehabilitation programme with the aim of being able to resume full activities 3-6 months after surgery.