Osteotomy is a surgical procedure that involves cutting and reshaping a bone near a damaged joint to minimize stress on the affected area. An osteotomy surgery may be recommended for patients as a part of osteoarthritis therapy. The osteotomy shifts weight from a part of the joint where the cartilage is damaged to an area where healthier cartilage exists. In osteoarthritis, for example, the damage to knee cartilage is frequently more severe in the inner part of the joint – an osteotomy in this case involves removing bone from the outer side of the tibia, aligning the body weight to the healthier part of the knee cartilage and away from the damaged cartilage of the inner knee.
Osteotomy is most often performed on younger patients who are more active and who want to delay replacement of the joint entirely. Recovery after an osteotomy depends on the extent of the surgery as well as the health and strength of the patient. A cast or splint may be used to limit movement in the affected joint. Physical therapy normally begins immediately after the osteotomy procedure.
For patients considering an osteotomy or patients seeking treatment for osteoarthritis, The Orthopaedic & Arthritis Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) offers world-class care in a state-of-the-art facility.
The Osteoarthritis Center at BWH is a recognized leader in osteoarthritis diagnosis and treatment. The Center evolved from the Robert Breck Brigham Hospital, founded in 1914 as the first U.S. hospital dealing solely with rheumatoid arthritis treatment and treatment for other similar conditions. In recent years BWH has pioneered arthritis research and developed innovative treatments that have helped earn its reputation as one of the top rheumatology providers in the country.
Treatment for osteoarthritis at BWH may involve non-surgical procedures that include the use of anti-inflammatory and pain medication or the injection of cortisone and viscosupplements, to physical/occupational therapy, bracing and orthotics, and guidance for weight loss and nutrition. In addition to osteotomy, surgical intervention options range from minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to joint replacement and cartilage repair or regeneration.
Additional arthritis services
In addition to an osteotomy for osteoarthritis, BWH offers comprehensive services for a wide range of arthritis conditions, including: