Osteotomy vs Knee Replacement
When painkillers, anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy and other treatments no longer help, the only option is surgery. In the UK, the vast majority of patients with knee pain are referred for knee replacement surgery.
Osteotomy should also be considered as an option. By realigning the bones of the leg so that the weight of the body does not pass unevenly through the knee joint, the pressure on the damage tissue can be relieved.
- Reduced knee pain without removing the natural knee joint.
- Improved movement and function after surgery, with a wider range of movement possible compared to after a knee joint replacement.
- Fast recovery – patients are mobile immediately and rehabilitation takes 6-12 weeks. Apart from those with highly active or manual jobs, patients usually return to work after 6 weeks.
- An osteotomy can delay the need for a knee replacement, but does not rule this option out. If the arthritis continues to worsen, a knee replacement is still possible several years down the line.
- Knee osteotomy surgery can often make the knee feel more stable. Patients report that they don’t feel that their knee is in danger of giving way anymore.
As knee replacements have a life of around 20 years in someone over 65 but often only 10 years in someone under 50, this extra time becomes very significant.