Knee Osteotomy Surgery Cost and Procedure Information
1 to 3 hours
Day case or 1 to 2 nights
General or Epidural
Knee Osteotomy Overview
What Is Knee Osteotomy?
Knee osteotomy is a surgical procedure that reshapes and realigns the bones of the knee. This procedure is popular among younger active patients who want to avoid a full knee replacement. Results from knee osteotomy can include reduced or relieved pain and increased mobility.
What Can Knee Osteotomy Achieve?
Osteotomy is a type of surgery that removes part of a bone or bones to reshaped or realign them. It is usually done to adjust the weight distribution on the bone which can relieve symptoms such as pain and inflammation. It can be used throughout the body. This overview focuses on knee osteotomy.
Some of the most common conditions that lead to knee osteotomy are:
- Varus knees (known as being “bow-legged”)
- Knee issues in young, active people who may ‘wear out’ a knee replacement
Sometimes osteotomy is performed on the knee to delay the need for a knee replacement. As the damage is likely to worsen with age, an early osteotomy may prevent the need for a full replacement knee for quite some time.
During the consultation, the surgeon will explain what knee osteotomy is and what to expect during and after the surgery.
Who Are BOA?
The BOA or British Orthopaedic Association is the leading orthopaedic organisation in the UK. Members join training sessions to update themselves on the latest developments in orthopaedic diagnostics and treatment, meaning surgeons that join BOA are some of the top orthopaedic surgeons available in the UK.
How Much Does Knee Osteotomy Surgery Cost?
In the UK, the price of knee osteotomy surgery with a private care provider begins around £5,000. The price is based on a number of factors including pre-existing health conditions, and the location of the hospital.
After the consultation, patients will be given a bespoke price for their tailored procedure. The personalised knee osteotomy surgery price will include:
- All fees related to your hospital stay
- Accommodation (if needed)
- Nursing care
- Surgical theatre fees
- Imaging costs
- 7 days worth of any medications prescribed by your surgeon
- A standard mobility aid like crutches or a cane
- 10 post-operative physiotherapy sessions
- 1 post-operative X-ray
- Post-operative appointments with your surgeon
Your surgery price will not include:
- Diagnostic consultations
- £250 for initial consultations
- £150 for additional diagnostic consultations
- Diagnostic imaging scans
- Estimated £150 per x-ray
- From £240 for MRI scans
The Knee Osteotomy Procedure
How Is Knee Osteotomy Surgery Performed?
Before the procedure, patients will be asked to attend an appointment to assess fitness for surgery. This will generally involve being asked some questions about health and any medications or supplements that are being taken.
Signing the Consent Form
On the day of the arthroscopy, the patient will meet with their surgeon. They will go over the details of the procedure again, make sure that the patient understands everything and that they are happy to go ahead and ask you to sign a consent form. This is a legal document that legally shows an understanding of the procedure and the potential risks and gives the surgeon consent to operate.
Once the consent form is signed, the anaesthetist will administer the anaesthetic. Depending on what was discussed previously, they will either administer general anaesthesia or a spinal block.
One the anaesthetic is working the surgeon will sterilise the knee and make a small incision at the front of the knee. They will assess the bones in the knee and mark the area to be removed. This is then cut away and the remaining parts are realigned and/or fitted together. The joint is secured with a metal plate that is screwed into place.
Closing the Incisions
The incision at the front of the knee is then stitched closed with sutures or another method. The wound is then dressed, and the surgery is over.
Return to the Ward
Patients will then be taken to the ward or recovery area and monitored as the anaesthetic wears off. In most cases, patients will be able to go home on the same day providing they have recovered from the anaesthetic and the surgeon believes it is safe.
Follow up Appointments and Physiotherapy
The surgeon and physiotherapist will recommend a course of physiotherapy and/or further treatments to aid in proper healing. It is vital that patients follow the advice and recommendations of their surgeon and medical team throughout the osteotomy journey in order to get the best results possible.
Who Is the Ideal Candidate for Knee Osteotomy?
Knee osteotomy can relieve symptoms of conditions such as osteoarthritis or alignment problems.
In the case of osteoarthritis, it is important patients only have symptoms on one side of the knee. Knee osteotomy is a great option for patients who have already tried medications (such as pain relief) and tried physiotherapy to improve symptoms but have not had good results.
The ideal candidate for knee osteotomy may also have the following characteristics:
- Be generally fit and well
- Have a BMI below 35
- Have symptoms that negatively everyday activities
- Be able to understand and follow recovery guidance including physiotherapy
- Does not suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or another inflammatory condition
- Has an otherwise healthy knee with no ligament or kneecap problems
As a general anaesthetic may be required, it is important that a thorough health and medication history is taken ahead of the procedure. It may also be possible to do an osteotomy using an anaesthetic called a spinal block. Also called an epidural, this is the same anaesthetic commonly performed during childbirth that allows the patient to remain awake but keeps them from feeling any pain below their waist. The surgeon will talk through the anaesthetic options so the patient can decide together on their best and safest option.
To get the most out of the knee osteotomy and sustain the long-term health of your knee, it is very important to understand and be committed to the recovery process. This includes attending all follow-up appointments and to adhere to physiotherapy guidance. These exercises help ensure timely healing and aim to get the best end results possible.
Knee Osteotomy Risks and Complications
What Are the Most Common Knee Osteotomy Complications?
As with all surgical procedures, there are potential risks and complications that patients should be aware of before agreeing to have knee osteotomy. The surgeon will be happy to discuss these in full ahead of the operation or at any step along the way.
The risks and complications related to knee osteotomy include:
General Surgical Risks
Every surgery comes with risks. These can range in severity and may include complications with anaesthetic, nausea, vomiting, post-operative pain, and blood clots.
Swelling and Bruising
The knee is prone to bruising and swelling after arthroscopy. These tend to resolve after a few days. The doctor may prescribe pain medication to help to limit any discomfort felt because of bruising or swelling.
Infection is a risk of any surgery. This can be a serious complication and may require antibiotics and/or further surgery to treat.
Signs there may be an infection include:
- Feeling feverish with a temperature above 38° C
- Increasing redness or swelling around the wound site in the first 2 days after surgery
- Yellow pus or foul-smelling fluid coming from your incisions
- Pain that is not relieved by painkillers
If patients believe they have an infection, seek urgent medical advice and contact the surgeon.
Bleeding in the knee is a common complication after knee osteotomy. It may cause excessive pain and swelling after the procedure. If severe, it could require further treatment or revision surgery.
Damage to Surrounding Structures
The surgeon will always aim to avoid damaging any part of the body during surgery, however, damage may occasionally happen because of the way the leg and knee must be moved during surgery.
Damage to nerves, ligaments, or blood vessels near the knee may cause the following symptoms:
- Loss or change in sensation
- Mobility issues
While uncommon, these complications may result in the need for further or revision surgery.
Knee Osteotomy Preparation
How to Prepare for My Knee Osteotomy?
Although most people return home the same day, patients may wish to do some preparation at home to help make your recovery as relaxing as possible. It is important to remember that it may take time to return to previous mobility and patients may be in some discomfort. Furthermore, the surgeon may advise the patient to avoid certain activities altogether for a while. Some suggestions for preparation:
Smoking and use of nicotine products like e-cigarettes or nicotine gum interfere with wound healing and increase the likelihood of complications. This is because nicotine constricts blood flow and slows healing as a result. It is recommended patients stop smoking and using nicotine at least six weeks before and after the procedure.
Everyday chores may be very difficult or advised against for a few days after returning home after having a knee osteotomy. It is recommended getting as much done around the house before going to the hospital. It is also a good idea to stock the kitchen and even prepare and freeze meals so patients can eat healthfully as they heal instead of worrying about cooking or relying on takeaway food that can be high in salt which in turn increases swelling.
Child and Pet Care
Patients may find it helpful to arrange for extra support from friends, family, or a sitter to care for children and/or pets whilst they recover.
Transport Home from Hospital
Patients will not be able to drive themselves home after the hospital the day of the surgery because of the effect of anaesthesia on their judgement and coordination, so ensure there is arranged transport beforehand.
The surgeons will advise on when the patient can begin to drive again, which may be several weeks. Consider making alternative transport arrangements until driving is possible again.
Wear loose trousers, shorts or a skirt on the day of the surgery and be prepared to wear these types of clothes as you heal. This is to ensure the clothing does not rub on the surgical wound on the knee as you heal. Choosing loose-fitting clothing can also make dressing and undressing much easier.
Knee Osteotomy Aftercare
What to Expect After a Knee Osteotomy?
After the knee osteotomy, patients will likely have to stay in hospital for at least one night. The medical staff looking after the patient will encourage them to stand up and move on their own. When patients can do this, they will be able to go home, providing that everything else regarding the recovery is fine. Patients will need to use a mobility aid like a walker or crutches for between 6 to 8 weeks and will be able to bear their full weight on the knee between 2 to 3 weeks after surgery.
Time Away from Work
The time patients need away from work is dependent on their health and the type of work they do. If patients have a low-impact job (for example in an office setting) they will be able to return to work when they can safely and comfortably travel to and from work. Depending on how quickly patients heal, this could take up to 6 weeks.
If the patient's work is more labour-intensive, they may need to be away for up to 3 months. The surgeon and physiotherapist will be able to provide patients with a more precise estimate as to how much time they will need away from work to heal.
As with work and sports, patients may only return to driving after they have healed when you can safely control a vehicle. The range of movement and strength of the knee will be the deciding factors in this. It may take patients up to 6 weeks to comfortably and safely drive.
Dressing and Stitches
The incision will be closed with sutures or staples after surgery and a dressing will be applied to keep the wound protected as it heals. A dressing will need to remain on the incision until the sutures or staples are removed.
Patients should not submerge or wet the surgical wound before the sutures are taken out. The surgeon will tell the patient when it is safe to fully bathe or shower again.
Physiotherapy is a crucial component to healing from knee osteotomy. Patients will likely see your physiotherapist weekly. During these appointments, patients will learn exercises that help improve the strength and mobility of the knee as it heals. Attending these appointments and performing the exercises and stretches at the recommended intervals (once to three times a day) is vital to ensure patients heal well after knee osteotomy.
Patients may also need hydrotherapy during the healing process, meaning they will do exercises in a warm pool to reduce the stress on the knee as they exercise.
Knee Osteotomy Final Results
Every patient heals at a different rate so it is difficult to estimate when patients will experience the final results of their knee osteotomy. A majority of patients find relief from knee pain soon after their osteotomy. Generally, many patients are able to resume their normal actives, sports, and hobbies after 6 months, though full recovery may take up to 12 months for some.