What is Osteotomy and when is it performed?
An osteotomy is an operation wherein the surgeon cuts a bone to restore its alignment, or lengthen or shorten it.
It can be done in different areas for various reasons:
- Knees - in early arthritis or congenital/developmental misalignment of the legs the thigh bone or the shin bone may be cut (deformity corrected) and fixed with a plate to restore the alignment of the leg. This leads to better biomechanics of walking and may give relief from pain due to arthritis or better cosmesis in case of misshapen legs (bow legs or knock knees).
- Long bone fractures - Sometimes due to different reasons broken bones may unite in an incorrect position. Osteotomy can be used to restore the correct position and thereby give better function to the patient.
- Hip - Congenital developmental disorders may cause the hip joint to dislocate. In early childhood osteotomy of the acetabulum (cup of the hip) or the upper thigh bone are done to ensure proper development of the joint and prevent the sequela of hip dislocation.
- Spine - Deformities of the spine due to development or age related degeneration are also treated by the surgeon using an osteotomy.
- Plastic surgeons commonly use this technique to correct shape of the jaw bone so that the irregular bite of the teeth becomes regular. Also the lower jaw (chin) can be cut /osteotomized to get a better shape.
- Hallux valgus - Outward deviation of the first toe, a common problem in ladies often leads to painful bunions which can be corrected by cutting the bone and restoring the shape.
This is a surgical procedure and should not be taken lightly. Some tests are done before the surgery to prepare for anesthesia. One typically spends a couple of days in the hospital. After surgery pain and rehabilitation is handled by medicines and physiotherapists. Splints, braces or crutches/ walker are frequently used for a few weeks to aid in performing the activities of daily living.
Osteotomy can help correct various deformities of bones and joints. Knee osteotomy, especially, has been highly successful in delaying the progression of painful conditions like arthritis and relieving pain amongst patients. Institute Of Musculoskeletal Disorders and Orthopaedics at Medanta is amongst the top orthopaedic hospitals in India offering comprehensive treatment for all kinds of bone and joint disorders and injuries. If you are suffering from any kind of bone or joint problem, consult one of our top orthopaedic surgeons today to know more about osteotomy surgery.