Like any type of surgery, it’s useful to know the recovery time so you can make any necessary changes or arrangements for your care. So, how long does it take to recover from knee realignment surgery? Find out more about what the procedure involves and how this affects recovery time from Prof Adrian Wilson, one of the Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons specialising in knee realignment surgery at BMI The Hampshire Clinic.
What is knee realignment surgery?
An osteotomy (knee realignment surgery) is carried out to change weight-bearing away from the damaged part of the knee and is especially good in younger, more active patients. A knee realignment surgery can be carried out for several reasons; however, the most common is to take pressure off a damaged part of the knee to relieve pain. It will also help restore function of the knee without having to have the whole knee replaced.
What does a knee realignment surgery involve?
First, the limb is analysed with special x-rays, which are loaded into a software programme and this is used to plan to within a millimetre how much the bone needs to be opened or closed just below or less commonly above the knee.
Specially designed instruments are used to allow this procedure to be carried out quickly, accurately and safely. A precise cut is made in the bone and a wedge alters the angulation; the new position is then fixed with a plate and screws.
How long does it take to recover from surgery?
Like any operation, the recovery time for an osteotomy procedure varies, however some patients can fully bear the weight from day 1 and can usually get back to work by 4-6 weeks; patients undergoing a knee replacement, often go back to work between 6 and 12 weeks after surgery. You’ll have regular follow-up visits with your consultant to monitor your recovery.
Recovery time after knee realignment surgery can vary depending on a range of factors including:
- Whether the surgery was closed wedge (removing bone) or open wedge (inserting bone)
- Size and location of the wedge of bone that was either inserted or removed
- The patient’s overall health and any complications during surgery
Professor Adrian Wilson:
Professor Wilson runs a bespoke research team that follows up all of his osteotomy patients, collection of both clinical information and patient reported outcome measures. It is from these results that they draw conclusions about their surgery and present their data.
What are the benefits of knee realignment?
A knee realignment procedure is joint preserving and can be highly successful. Osteotomy can be life changing for patients with both early wear and tear and bone on bone arthritis. With people living much longer and with a limited life expectancy of a joint replacement, we believe everything should be done to preserve the knee and knee function for as long as possible.
What is the success rate?
From personal results, 80% of patients with knee replacements are happy with the outcome. Our research has confirmed an overall patient satisfaction score of 8.5/10 on over 1000 patients. This is in line with other outcome studies.
You can find out more about knee realignment surgery, including risks and side effects in BMI Healthcare’s consultant Q&A with Professor Adrian Wilson. Alternatively you can find out more about joint pain and download their free guide here.