Why Do I Need an Osteotomy?

Even if you’re perfectly healthy now, you may be heading toward hip or knee replacements in the future. Sometimes, joints and bones don’t align perfectly, leading to problems later in life, and the evidence of this may be visible to a doctor or orthopaedic specialist. The answer to the problems you’ll have one day may be preventive surgery called osteotomy now.

Eric E. Johnson, MD, is an orthopaedic trauma specialist, trained and renowned worldwide. Extensively published in orthopaedic circles, Dr. Johnson is the surgeon you want on your team when you have bone or joint issues, and he’s an osteotomy specialist. Contact his Westwood, Los Angeles, practice when you require quality orthopaedic care.

Defining osteotomy

Generically, osteotomy refers to any procedure that cuts and reshapes bone. In orthopaedic circles, there are common types of osteotomy surgery focused on the body parts that benefit from this treatment.

Typically, osteotomy targets bone tissue to redistribute weight across the surface of cartilage, the cushioning and sliding covering over the ends of bones. When a joint is out of alignment, the weight the joint bears may rest on only part of the cartilage surface.

During surgery, Dr. Johnson removes a carefully chosen wedge of bone so that weight distribution shifts away from the section of cartilage damaged by the extra weight. When the cartilage surface is in place, pins and plates secure repositioned bones together, and the joint is immobilized as bone tissue fuses and regains strength.

Types of osteotomy

Virtually any joint in the body may suffer from an alignment issue that an osteotomy could address. Knees and hips frequently benefit from osteotomy, and there are procedures for the spine, chin, elbow, and jaw. Even a toe bunion could benefit from osteotomy techniques.

Treatment for hip dysplasia

Describing a condition where the socket of the hip doesn’t fully enclose the ball joint of the femur, hip dysplasia could lead to complete or partial dislocation of the hip joint. This is usually a congenital condition with which you’re born. Many times, pediatricians catch the obvious cases, and braces correct the issue.

However, mild cases may not emerge until you’re in your teens or early adulthood. At this point, surgery may be the only option to correct the problem. Dr. Johnson offers acetabular osteotomy, the surgical procedure that addresses the cause of hip dysplasia.

During surgery, Dr. Johnson cuts away and repositions a part of the pelvis called the acetabulum, fastening it in place with surgical screws. After the bone heals, the hip socket works more effectively, relieving the symptoms of hip dysplasia and preventing any premature wear on the socket that could permanently damage the joint.

Whether your joint alignment issue is in the hip, knee, or other location, contact Eric E. Johnson, MD, to discover more about how an osteotomy procedure could help you. Call the office directly at 424-309-1492 to schedule your consultation and examination. Take care of your joint alignment issue now, before a small problem becomes a big one. 

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