Introduction to Osteotomy
Osteotomy is a surgery wherein the doctors reshape and cut bones. You may opt for this surgery to repair a damaged joint. It is also used to lengthen or shorten a deformed bone that seldom lines up with a joint as it should.
People have this preconceived notion that you need to be extremely sick or old to have an osteotomy. However, several young and healthy people go through this surgery as a way to postpone knee or hip surgery by many years.
What are the different types of osteotomy?
Osteotomy can help fix several problems especially in places such as:
- Hip: During the surgery, your doctor will reshape your hip socket and make sure to provide better coverage to the balls present at the hip joint.
- Knee: If your kneecap is not too straight then that can be painful, plus arthritis can make it worse. During the knee osteotomy, either your femur (lower thigh bone) or tibia (upper thighbone) are cut and reshaped. This procedure takes off the pressure from the damaged side of your knee joint.
- Spine: In this surgery, the wedge-shaped piece of bone from the section of your spine is removed to reduce a hunchback.
- Jaw: A lot of times, the bones in some people’s faces do not line up properly with the bite of their teeth. Hence, with the help of mandibular (lower jaw) osteotomy your lower jaw moves in a better position.
- Big toe: A big segment of bone is removed from your toe to help straighten it and stop it from jamming into other toes.
- Chin: Surgeons use osteotomy to narrow down a square or narrow chin.
Are there any risks associated with osteotomy?
Some of the major risks include:
- Blood clot: There is a risk for blood clot but surgeons reduce it by using a blood thinner. Some doctors give a TED hose and compression boots (for feet) to increase circulation.
- Infection: In order to avoid this risk, patients are given IV antibiotics right before the surgery and after 24 hours. After that, you should keep a close eye on the incision for any kind of redness or drainage, especially near the groin area.
- Nerve palsy: Lateral femoral cutaneous is a sensory nerve that is present where doctors perform surgery. The best orthopedic doctor in Hyderabad try their best to identify it and protect it to the best of their ability. However, there still is a 50 per cent chance you will have numbness over the front of your thigh, with time sensation returns. Furthermore, there are other bigger nerves like femoral and sciatic nerves present which are deeper and can get stretched with surgery, but that is very rare.
- Not healing completely: This is a common concern but extremely rare. In case the bone doesn’t heal properly, the screws can break and the socket might move. To fix that, additional surgery to increase bone healing is done.
How is an osteotomy performed?
The patient is asked to go to the best orthopaedic hospital in Hyderabad or a medical centre for the surgery. Your doctor will then discuss with you all the anaesthesia options ahead of time. Usually, people get general anaesthesia which means you will be asleep throughout the surgery.
If the osteotomy will be performed on a bone present in the lower half of your body, you may be able to pick a spinal instead. This allows you to stay awake through the surgery but feel numb down the waist.
During the osteotomy surgery, the doctor will make a small cut in your skin and he/she will use special guide wires to measure the bone. The next step is to then take out a section with the help of a surgical saw. After that, the doctor will fill this new and open space, this can be done in numerous ways. A metal plate and screws are used to hold bones in place. Once your bone has healed completely, these may be taken out. Although sometimes they are permanent.
In addition, your doctor may use a bone graft to fill the space. He/she may take a wedge of bone from your pelvis or take one from a bone bank.
Depending on what kind of osteotomy surgery you go through, you will likely need to spend a few nights at the hospital. Make sure to update your family or friends for the same, so that they can help you out during this procedure- during and after.