What is an Osteotomy?

An osteotomy is a surgical procedure that entails cutting the bones and then reshaping their structure. This type of procedure is usually reserved for repairing damaged joints like knee and hip joints. 

It can also be used to shorten or lengthen a problematic bone that does not line up properly with a joint, leading to discomfort or complications in daily life. Though it may seem like a surgery that is undertaken primarily by the elderly, that is simply untrue, as many young people also undergo osteotomies.

If you suffer from joint pain due to misaligned joints and bones, you might benefit from osteotomy. 

However, this kind of surgical procedure should not be undertaken lightly, and you should have multiple consultations with a professional before agreeing to anything that will permanently affect your wellbeing. We recommend these Best Orthopedic Surgeon in Rawalpindi, if you require one in that region.

Types of Osteotomy

The procedure can be carried out on many different kinds of joints and bones. These include:

  • Hip: During this procedure, the surgeon will shape the hip socket so it better fits around the ball of the hip joint.
  • Knee: During a knee osteotomy, if your kneecap is not properly situated, your tibia or femur may be cut and reshaped so that pressure is taken off of the improper portion of the kneecap.
  • Spine: If you have a hunch or swayback, you can opt for this procedure which entails removing a wedge-shaped bone from a section of the spine, reducing the severity of the condition.
  • Jaw: A mandibular osteotomy can correct the lower jaw of a person who might have one that does not properly line up with the rest of their facial bones.
  • Big Toe: If your big toe is bent and pressing into your other toes, a segment of bone can be removed from it in order to prevent this.
  • Chin: Though mainly cosmetic, osteotomy may be used to change the shape of somebody’s chin during plastic surgery.

Procedure

Most people undergo a general anesthetic before an osteotomy is done, however you can also opt for local anesthetic or spinal tap if it’s a small bone or it is below the waist, respectively.

During the procedure itself, the surgeon will make a small cut at the site of the problem, whereby he will introduce small guide wires to measure the length of the section that must be cut, which will be removed using a surgical saw. 

The space left behind will be filled either by a metal plate holding the bone segments together with screws, or by a bone graft (either a wedge from your pelvis or a donated piece from a bone bank) which is held in place with metal fasteners. The former procedure might be followed by a removal of the metal hardware if the bones it holds heal enough, though sometimes these metal pieces are permanent.

Risks

Each kind of osteotomy is accompanied by its own unique risks, however, there are some general complications that can arise from these procedures. These risks include:

  • Blood clotting
  • Adverse reactions to the anesthetics
  • Stiffness in one’s joints following surgery
  • Damage to one’s arteries or other vessels
  • Unsuccessful healing of bone structures
  • Damage to the nerves
  • Scar tissue
  • Infection

If you are looking into osteotomy as a viable surgical option for yourself, be sure to consider all the risks and other factors before opting for it. A professional can properly guide you on what the best option is for you. These Orthopedic Surgeon are great if you require one for a quick consultation.

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