What is Knee Arthritis?
Millions of Americans suffer from painful knee arthritis and cannot partake in many of the activities they enjoy because of the condition. Arthritis is caused by wearing down (degeneration) of a patient’s articular cartilage from age or an injury to the joint. Articular cartilage does not have the ability to heal on its own, like a number of other structures within the knee joint, so many patients opt to undergo a surgical knee arthritis treatment to repair the damage and to prevent further damage. A knee osteotomy is a surgical arthritis treatment performed by Dr. Matthew Provencher, orthopedic knee surgeon, treats patients in Vail, Aspen, Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado to help alleviate chronic pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
What is a Knee Osteotomy?
A knee osteotomy is commonly reserved for young, active patients with articular cartilage damage on just one side of the knee joint. During the surgical knee arthritis treatment, Dr. Provencher will remove a small wedge of bone from the upper tibia (shinbone), known as a high tibial osteotomy, or from the lower femur (thigh bone), known as a distal femoral osteotomy. These procedures call for removal of the small wedge from the outside of the knee and are termed closing wedge osteotomies. Both techniques are designed to reshape the bone and shift the body’s weight to relieve pressure and pain on the knee joint.
In certain patients, the opposite approach is called for and an opening wedge osteotomy may be performed by Dr. Provencher. This procedure consists of utilizing a small wedge bone graft to the inside of the knee, as well as adding plates and screws to hold the newly shaped bones in proper position in order to restore balance to the knee.
It is important to note that even though a knee osteotomy is highly effective in many patients, this knee arthritis treatment is not a permanent solution. The procedure provides alleviated symptoms and prolongs the need for total knee replacement, usually for 8-10 years.