Having knee arthritis is an extremely troubling and problematic development for any person and the reason for this is due to the fact that we humans are bipedal creatures, i.e. we walk on two legs and so the full brunt of our body weight, and the pressure that goes along with it, is directly placed through the weight bearing joints of the body which the knees and ankles. The reason that knee arthritis is so problematic is due to the fact that it will aggressively attack the cartilage of the knee joint, and will do so in a randomized manner. What this means is that the knee arthritis has the potential to cause sufficient damage to the joint so as to force the body to then place more of the weight through the weakened part of the joint which in turn will help to accelerate the process of erosion.
Because of this, it maybe necessary for surgical intervention to take place and so the person who is suffering from knee arthritis maybe forced to choose between either knee osteotomy or knee replacement.
What is the difference between the two procedures?
Knee osteotomy will involve the surgical removal of a portion of the knee bone, in order to compel the body to alter the manner in which it shifts the weight, thereby ensuring that the full brunt of the weight will be taken through the healthier, stronger side of the joint. In turn, this will cause more damage to the knee joint….although at a slower rate than would be experienced if the weight was to be put through the damaged segment of the bone.
Knee replacement on the other hand will involve the knee joint being removed entirely, and a prosthetic joint which has been created using metal and plastic being inserted into the surgical site to replace the arthritic joint that is no longer stable, and which is incapable of maintaining its role.
What are the risks of each?
With knee osteotomy, there is a risk that the patient will suffer more knee arthritis and in a shorter period of time.
With knee replacement, there are a number of risks. The prosthetic may wear out, and therefore to be replaced with additional surgery that will become steadily more difficult to achieve. There is also the risk of a blood clot, which can be potentially fatal.