High tibial osteotomy is a surgical procedure in which the upper end of the tibia (shin bone) is cut and realigned.
It is usually performed in arthritic conditions affecting only one side of your knee. The aim is to take pressure off the cartilage damaged area and shift it to the other side of your knee with healthy cartilage. During the surgery, a wedge of bone is either removed or added, to the bone either below or above the knee joint depending on the site of arthritic damage.
High tibial osteotomy is commonly used for patients with osteoarthritis that is isolated to a single compartment (unicompartmental osteoarthritis). It is also performed for treating a variety of knee conditions such as malalignment, osteochondritis dissecans, osteonecrosis, posterolateral instability, and chondral resurfacing.
Osteotomy can relieve pain and delay the progression of arthritis in the knee. There are strict inclusion and exclusion criteria for suitability for the procedure. It can allow a younger patient to lead a more active lifestyle for many years even though many patients will ultimately require a total knee replacement. Osteotomy can be an effective way to buy time until a replacement is required.