Osteotomy Overview

Osteotomy is a surgical procedure in which the orthopaedic surgeon removes part of the bone in the knee to realign the joint as a temporary treatment for osteoarthritis. The surgery reduces the amount of stress on the joint by causing a shift of weight from the area where the cartilage is damaged to an area where the cartilage is healthier.

Osteotomy is indicated when more conservative treatments for osteoarthritis – such as medications, therapy, and lifestyle changes – fail to relieve pain and restore function to the affected joint. It is more commonly performed in the hip and knee joints. In older patients, osteotomy is being replaced by joint replacement.

What are Other Treatments for Osteoarthritis?

Currently, more than 27 million people in the U.S. are affected by osteoarthritis and there are a variety of treatments for the condition, ranging from lifestyle changes to surgical interventions.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

  • Anti-inflammatory and pain medications
  • Cortisone and viscosupplement injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Guidance on weight loss and exercise
  • Bracing and orthotics
  • Self-management strategies
  • Guidance on the use of nutritional supplements

Surgical Treatment Options

  • Arthroscopy – a minimally invasive surgical procedure to examine and treat joint damage.
  • Osteotomy – reshaping the bone to reduce stress on the affected area.
  • Partial and total joint reconstruction
  • Cartilage repair and regeneration

Osteoarthritis Treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

The Osteoarthritis Center at BWH is recognized as a world leader in osteoarthritis diagnosis and treatment, providing innovative and expert care to thousands of patients each year.

The Center cultivates a collaborative relationship among clinicians and researchers from numerous disciplines - including rheumatology, orthopaedics, physical therapy, pain management and bone and joint radiology. This collaboration optimizes the diagnosis and medical and surgical care of patients with osteoarthritis, while research focuses on approaches to understanding mechanisms of joint degeneration and new methods for joint preservation.

Bone and Joint Care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

The Orthopaedic & Arthritis Center at BWH is one of the most highly regarded orthopaedic and joint disease research and treatment programs in the world. Comprehensive and innovative bone and joint care is the foundation of the Center, beginning nearly a century ago when one of our founding hospitals, the Robert Breck Brigham Hospital, became the first teaching hospital in the country wholly devoted to arthritis and related diseases.

Today, the Center – a collaboration of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and the Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, and Immunity – is known for its pioneering team of physicians and researchers dedicated to doing everything possible for our patients while helping to develop and apply the most advanced treatments for bone and joint diseases and conditions.

Patient- and Family-centered Care

BWH has long been committed to not only the care of our patients but also the many other needs that they and their families have. This philosophy of patient- and family-centered care involves systems and services that emphasize healing in a comfortable, relaxed environment.

Quality of Patient Care

BWH is committed to providing all of our patients with the safest, highest-quality, most-satisfying care possible and follow established protocols that have been shown to improve patient outcomes. Our Inpatient Satisfaction Survey, sent to patients’ to assess their total care experience, helps us to monitor what we are doing well and areas for improvement. We pride ourselves in the Quality of Patient Care we provide and how we are measured compared with other hospitals.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital Osteoarthritis Treatment Team

Year after year, our Rheumatology and Orthopaedic Services are ranked among the top programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

The Orthopaedic & Arthritis Center is able to maintain this level of care through a combination of medical expertise, with one of the largest and most experienced staffs in the country; a commitment to quality care, demonstrated by our numerous quality and safety awards; state-of-the-art facilities; and advanced technologies.

Our Orthopaedic & Arthritis Center team of physicians, nurses, physician’s assistants, and staff work closely with colleagues in specialties throughout BWH and nursing to deliver safe, effective, and compassionate care to every patient. Learn more about our osteoarthritis team.

Additional Resources

Contact Us

If you believe you should have an evaluation and would like to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopaedic and arthritis experts, call 1-800-294-9999 to speak to one of our knowledgeable coordinators who can help to connect you to the doctor that best meets your needs.

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For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.

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