Tibial osteotomies are often performed for knee injuries such as total lateral compartment collapse following a motor vehicle accident.  Patients sometimes wonder “What is the recovery time for tibial osteotomy?”  Generally you will wear a cast for 4 to 8 weeks, then you can put your weight on it to start physical therapy. It might take a year to fully recover, according to WebMD.

Will the Knee Be Normal After Surgery and During the Recovery Process?

Due to the fact that this procedure is usually done for severe knee instability, you ought to know that it’s not impossible to except for a fully normal knee after the procedure and once the recovery time is complete.

Just like what has been mentioned earlier, it’s possible to do the activities you normally do, but keep in mind that there will be certain limits, because there’s always the possibility of feeling pain and discomfort.

Generally speaking, this kind of procedure could slow down the development of degenerative osteoarthritic change, allowing the body to improve, and reduce the amount of pain being experienced.

However, if the OA seems quite severe during the time of operation, then it would be ideal to undergo knee replacement surgery 10 years after.

Is There a Need to Wear a Brace on Return to Activity?

Truth be told, there wouldn’t be a need to do this. A lot of patients have worn an unloader brace for a certain period of time after the procedure. Once the HTO has been performed, the need for the unloader brace would not be essential.

Length of Stay in the Hospital

Patients who have underwent tibial osteotomy are usually kept in the hospital for 1-2 nights following an HTO. However, if a pelvic bone graft has also been made for the surgery, the patients are kept for an additional of 2 nights. On the other hand, if the correction is still small enough, then the pelvic bone graft won’t even be necessary at all. Most of the time, the patients can be discharged from the hospital the following day, especially if the case isn’t that serious at all.

How Long Should I Use Crutches?

Most patients get rid of their crutches after a surgery. However, the length of the need to wear crutches can also depend on a number of factors.

Increased age, smoking, impaired nutrition, impaired glucose control, and other things can also affect the duration of how long you should wear clutches.

What Is a Tibial Osteotomy?

In most cases, knee osteotomy is a great way to eliminate arthritis pain and prevent the need of having a total knee replacement surgery for 10-15 years.

Osteotomy literally means “cutting the bone.” That means, in the surgical procedure known as tibial osteotomy, the tibia is incised and it’s reshaped as a way to reduce the force on the knee joints. The procedure was first performed in Europe during the 50’s and was brought to the US in the 60’s. Back then, it was referred to as “High tibial osteotomy.”

This procedure is employed at the early age of osteoarthritis, especially when one knee joint has already been damaged. By shifting the weight off the battered side of the joint, it’s possible to lessen the pain and improve the overall function of the knees.

There are a lot of causes behind osteoarthritis. It usually develops when the bones of the knee and legs fail to line up properly. This can put additional stress on either part of the knee– both either and outer. After quite some time, this extra pressure will damage the smooth cartilage that protects the bones. This causes the stiffness and severe pain on the knee.


The slick cartilage is responsible for allowing the end parts of the bones to smoothly move against each other. However, osteoarthritis damages the cartilage, leading to a rough surface that can be painful at times.

Furthermore, the moment the bone cartilage actually wears away unevenly, the gap located between the tibia and femur decreases in size. This would result in a bow outward or inward. This will depend on what knee is affected.

Taking away or incorporating a kind of wedge on the lower thighbone or upper shinbone can help in fixing the problem. The weight would be shifted to the part that was left undamaged and this would lengthen the lifespan of the joints affected.


Tibial Osteotomy has three goals:

  • To move the weight of the arthritic part of the knee to the healthier side.
  • To put an end to the poor knee alignment.
  • To lengthen the lifespan of the knees.

Through the preservation of the knee anatomy, a successful osteotomy is capable of delaying the need to undergo joint replacement for a number of years. Another privilege once can enjoy is the fact that there wouldn’t be any restrictions on physical activities after the procedure. After a Tibial Osteotomy, you can still participate in your favorite activities without worrying at all.


In certain conditions, a technique known as osteostomy can be used as a way to realign the knee and take the pressure off from the damaged side. Likewise, a procedure known as the high tibial osteotomy can also be used to reconfigure the affected knee joint. Through this, the weight-bearing part of the joints shifted from the damaged tissue to a healthier tissue.

Aside from that, a high tibial osteotomy is also considered as one of the best methods to improve the time before the knee replacement procedures become necessary, because the advantages one can experience typically last for 8-10 years. This procedure is ideal for younger patients who are suffering from pain brought by misalignment and instability. That said, an osteotomy procedure can also be performed together with other joint preservation treatments as a way to allow the cartilage to repair the tissue, encouraging it to grow without the need to deal with excessive pressure.

The Procedure Itself

A wedge bone is removed from the outside tibia and the surgeon straightens the leg. This would bring the bone to the healthy side that’s closer together, creating more space between the damaged arthritic side. With this, you’ll be able to carry more weight without putting pressure on the affected side.