Osteotomy Melbourne – A patient’s guide

Dr Arash Riazi – MBBS, BSc (Med), FRACS (Ortho), F.A.Orth.A.
Orthopaedic Surgeon.

This guide is to help you understand the benefits and limitations of an osteotomy.

It explains what an osteotomy is, who could benefit, what to expect, potential complications and recovery information that may help you get the best results from your surgery.

If you have any questions about an osteotomy, please contact my offices using the details below.

 Dr Arash Riazi – Orthopaedic Surgeon

If you have any questions please call
(03) 9898 4216

New patients welcome.
Please bring a referral from your GP or Specialist.

Osteotomy Melbourne

What is an osteotomy

An osteotomy is a surgical procedure whereby the tibia bone is cut and reshaped to change the alignment of the knee to relieve pain and stress on the damaged knee joint.

This surgery is usually performed in cases where only one side of the knee joint is damaged – See figure 1.

Osteotomy is commonly performed for patients where the weight bearing surface of the knee joint become worn away on one side. The affected side of the joint is no longer smooth leading to stiffness and pain.

In a healthy knee, cartilage covers the ends of the bones and this enables the bones to move smoothly against each other. If the cartilage on one side of the knee becomes damaged due to osteoarthritis or malalignment an osteotomy is a potential solution.

Figure 1 – Damaged knee joint (left side only).

Causes of knee damage

The main causes of knee damage that may lead you to consider an osteotomy include:

Osteoarthritis – Osteoarthritis of the knee is when there is excessive wearing of the cartilage which can create a rough surface. This degeneration of tissue stops the knee from gliding smoothly and causing a clicking or popping sound.

Malalignment – Malalignment is a condition in where unbalanced forces cause pressure on either the inner or outer part of the knee causing the knee to bow outwards or inwards.

For some patients an osteotomy may prevent further damage and the need for a knee replacement.

Types of Osteotomy

High tibial Osteotomy

High tibial osteotomies are more commonly performed and involve surgery on the tibia (shinbone) to correct bow-legged alignment or knocked-knee alignment – See (A) and (B) below.

Femoral Osteotomy

A femoral osteotomy may be necessary where surgery is performed on the femur (thighbone) to correct knock-kneed alignment.

Dr Riazi can perform all the above techniques and will discuss the best treatment plan for your diagnosis.

What happens during an Osteotomy

Osteotomies are usually performed under general anaesthetic. An incision is made just below your knee and a wedge of bones is removed from underneath the healthy part of the knee.

The wedge is then closed using metal plates or pins to bring the bones on the healthy side of the knee closer together and opening up space on the damaged side. The result is less pressure on the damaged side of the knee, allowing more even distribution of  your body weight.

Post surgery

You will spend 1 – 2 days in hospital before being discharged home. Our physiotherapist will teach you exercises to gain range of motion and begin weight bearing on your operated knee. These will also help strengthen your muscles. These can cause some discomfort and swelling.

You will be prescribed painkillers to take home and it is important to take these as instructed as managing your pain effectively will also help you mobilise and carry out these exercises to ensure your recovery.


This information is designed to be a guide only. Every patient has unique needs and will react differently to surgery, pain management and recovery approaches.

If you would like more details or have any worries or questions about an osteotomy, please contact my offices so I may address your concerns.

Osteotomy Melbourne

Dr Arash Riazi – Orthopaedic Surgeon

If you have any questions about an osteotomy please contact my offices:


Dr Riazi consults with public and private orthopaedic patients from all over Melbourne in relation to an osteotomy of the knee. His current consulting locations include Epworth Eastern Hospital in Box Hill and Box Hill Hospital (Eastern Health) in Box Hill.