How an Osteotomy Can Help Your Fracture

There are several types of osteotomy, but they all have one thing in common: cutting and reshaping bones. As a skilled orthopedic trauma specialist in Westwood, Los Angeles, Dr. Eric E. Johnson relies on this procedure to address a wide variety of bone issues, including fractures

Here’s what you need to know about the specialized technique.

Osteotomy basics

Generally speaking, we refer to an osteotomy as any surgery in which at least one bone gets cut. This may seem like a strange technique, but it’s a valuable approach to several problems. 

For example, undergoing foot surgery to correct a bunion is a type of osteotomy. During this procedure, your surgeon shaves off the extra bone at the base of your big toe and realigns the joint. This approach also works on larger joints, like your hip. So, if you have hip dysplasia, Dr. Johnson can perform an acetabular osteotomy. In this surgery, he reshapes the hip joint to relieve impingement and pain.

The versatility of an osteotomy makes it highly beneficial for people at any age, even those who are young and healthy. In fact, this technique can help you avoid more complex joint replacement surgeries for several years by reshaping bones to improve alignment, correct deformities, and relieve pressure on joints.

In most cases, Dr. Johnson suggests an osteotomy if you have bone alignment problems causing chronic pain, reduced mobility, or negatively impacting your everyday life in other ways. 

Fractures and osteotomy

One common reason to have an osteotomy is because of a fracture, especially if your past break doesn’t heal correctly. This problem, known as a malunion, occurs when bones heal in an abnormal position.

When Dr. Johnson performs the osteotomy, he cuts or reshapes the broken bone and restores its proper anatomical alignment. If he’s addressing a fracture malunion, the process involves cutting or rebreaking the bone near the original injury. 

Depending on your fracture, Dr. Johnson could also insert a bone graft to fill any open spaces or restore length in the area. These wedges of bone either come from your body or a bone bank with donated tissue.

After reshaping and repositioning the broken bones, Dr. Johnson typically uses some form of fixation to secure them in place while they heal. This could mean having plates, screws, or rods inserted internally. Or, you could need an external frame positioned outside the surgical site and secured to the broken bone with wires and pins.

Recovering from an osteotomy can take time, depending on the severity of your fracture, its location, and the complexity of your surgery. Dr. Johnson can provide more detailed information on what to expect based on your condition.

Ready to see if an osteotomy can help your fracture? Contact our office in Westwood, Los Angeles, California, by calling 424-309-1492 today.

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