CPT Code: 27455
Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy is commonly used to realign arthritic damage on one side of the knee. The goal is to shift the patient’s body weight off the damaged area to the other side of the knee, where the cartilage is still healthy. Surgeons remove a wedge of the tibia from underneath the unhealthy side of the knee, which allows the tibia and femur to bend away from the damaged cartilage.
A model for this is the hinges on a door. When the door is shut, the hinges are flush against the wall. As the door swings open, one side of the door remains pressed against the wall as space opens up on the other side. Removing just a small wedge of bone can “swing” the knee open, pressing the healthy tissue together as space opens up between the femur and tibia on the damaged side so that the arthritic surfaces do not rub against each other.
Osteotomy is also used as an alternative treatment to total knee replacement in younger and active patients. Because prosthetic knees may wear out over time, an osteotomy procedure can enable younger, active osteoarthritis patients to continue using the healthy portion of their knee. The procedure can delay the need for a total knee replacement for up to ten years.
The most common type of osteotomy performed on arthritic knees is a high tibial osteotomy, which addresses cartilage damage on the inside (medial) portion of the knee. The procedure usually takes 60 to 90 minutes to perform.