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Reasons for Procedure
- Reduce pain
- Improve movement
- Delay further damage to the joint
- Postpone the need for total knee replacement surgery
- Excess bleeding
- Blood clots
- Shortening of the leg
- Injuries to nerves or blood vessels
- Poor nutrition
- History of blood clots
- Long-term illness
- Use of certain medications
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Arrange for a ride home.
- Arrange for help at home while you recover.
- Talk to your doctor about any allergies you have.
- Ask your doctor about assisted devices you will need.
- If you are overweight, lose weight. This will help to decrease the amount of stress on your new joint.
- Install safety equipment in the bathroom, shower, and on the stairs.
- Prepare a bedroom on the first floor if possible. Climbing stairs will be difficult at first.
- Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs
- Blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin
- Anti-platelet drugs, such as clopidogrel
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Pain medication
- Antibiotics to prevent infection
- Medication that prevents blood clots
- Place padded bandages over the incision sites
- Apply ice to reduce swelling
- A splint or brace to hold the knee in the right position
- Apply ice or a cold pack to the area for 15-20 minutes four times a day. Wrap the ice in a towel. Do not apply it directly to your skin.
- Elevate the injured leg to reduce swelling.
- If you have a cast, follow the doctor’s instructions for taking care of your skin.
- Use crutches or a walker. Avoid putting weight on your injured leg until your doctor gives you permission.
- Keep the incision area clean and dry.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water. Place a plastic covering over the incision areas if your doctor recommends keeping it dry.
- Start working with a physical therapist once you are instructed to. The therapist will focus on balance, range-of-motion, and strength training.
- Maintain a healthy weight after surgery.
- Follow your doctor's instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
- Swelling, redness, or pain in your legs, calves, or feet
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Nausea and vomiting
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Your leg, foot, or toes appear chalky white, blue, or black
- Numbness or tingling in your leg, foot, or toes
- Pain, burning, urgency, frequency of urination, or persistent bleeding in the urine
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.org
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Degenerative joint disease of the knee. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated May 3, 2013. Accessed May 6, 2013.
Frequently asked questions: high tibial osteotomy. New England Musculoskeletal Institute website. Available at: http://nemsi.uchc.edu/clinical%5Fservices/orthopaedic/sportsmedicine/faqs/faqs%5Fhto.html. Accessed May 6, 2013.
Knee osteotomy. The Knee Society website. Available at: http://www.kneesociety.org/web/patienteducation%5Fosteo.html. Accessed May 6, 2013.
Knee replacement surgery. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test%5Fprocedures/orthopaedic/knee%5Freplacement%5Fsurgery%5Fprocedure%5F92,P07673/. Accessed May 6, 2013.
Marti R, Verhagen R, Kerkhoffs G, Moojen T. Proximal tibial varus osteotomy. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2001;83-A(2):164-170
Wilson A. Knee osteotomy and painful osteoarthritis. Knee Guru Information Hub website. Available at: http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEnotes/node/2153. Published May 13, 2010. Accessed May 6, 2013.
6/6/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: John C. Keel, MD; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013 -
- Update Date: 05/06/2013 -