What causes Cartilage Injuries and Knee Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the end result of cartilage damage to a joint and occurs from a complex cascade of biologic and biomechanical factors.  Cartilage injuries and arthritis of the knee affect millions of individuals and can make even simple, everyday activities painful. They can result from a variety of insults such as trauma or hereditary predisposition and can lead to pain, swelling and stiffness of the knee joint. Alignment and how load is distributed across the joint can be a contributing factor to these conditions.  Joint preservation surgeon, Dr. Armando Vidal has been treating patients with cartilage injuries and early knee osteoarthritis in Vail, Aspen and the Denver, Colorado communities who want to prolong, or are not candidates for a total knee replacement.

Knee Osteotomy | Vail CO

What is a Knee Osteotomy?

When the bones of the knee do not line up properly, extra stress can occur on the inner or outer side of the knee. Over time, this extra pressure can wear away the articular cartilage of the knee, causing pain and stiffness.  Osteotomy, literally meaning, “cutting of bone” is a surgical treatment offered by Armando Vidal, MD in which either the shinbone (tibia) or thighbone (femur) is cut and realigned to relieve pressure on the knee joint and improve the biomechanics of the joint.

Knee osteotomy is indicated for three general conditions.

  • To improve the outcomes and success of a complex cartilage repair in the setting of malalignment.
  • To improve the biomechanics of a joint in the setting of a complex instability condition (revision ACL, PCL, FCL).
  • To relieve symptoms in a young patient with early uni-compartmental (one side of joint) osteoarthritis who is high demand, high impact and not a good candidate for a partial or total knee replacement.

Knee osteotomy is a complex procedure that can be life-changing in terms of restoring quality of life and function.  Experience with these procedures is critical to a safe and effective recovery!

Knee osteotomy is offered to patients in Vail, Aspen and the surrounding Denver Colorado communities.

How is a knee osteotomy done?

The goal of a knee osteotomy is to transfer the weight from the arthritic part of the knee to the healthier area and correct poor alignment. Osteotomy also helps prolong the life of the knee joint. The surgery is done by creating a very precise surgical cut in the bone and slowly opening (opening wedge) the osteotomy to achieve the desired correction. When Dr. Vidal opens the wedge, it straightens the leg. The bones on the healthy side then move closer together, creating more space in the damaged compartment. As a result, the knee can carry weight more evenly, easing pressure on the injured or arthritic side.  The wedge is held open with implants until it heals in the desired position.

Am I a Candidate for Knee Osteotomy?

Some patients are a better match for a successful osteotomy of the knee. Those patients have the following attributes:

  • The patient should be able to straighten the knee completely and bend the knee at least 120-degress.
  • Patients should be thin, active and under 60-years-old.
  • Patients should have pain on only one side of the knee, with minimal or no pain present under the kneecap.
  • Patients who have knee pain brought on by most activity, or while standing for prolonged periods of time.
  • Patients with rheumatoid arthritis are not good candidates for a knee osteotomy.

How long is the recovery following a knee osteotomy?

Patients sometimes require an overnight hospital stay following a knee osteotomy, especially if the procedure is combined with other treatments to replace or restore the knee cartilage.   The following post-osteotomy protocols can be expected:

  • Pain Relief: Patients will be prescribed pain medications by Dr. Vidal and should take only as directed for proper healing.
  • Non-Weight Bearing: Patients will need crutches following surgery and can expect to be non-weightbearing for approximately four to six weeks.
  • CPM (continuous passive motion): Your knee will be in a machine 3-4 hours per day for 4 weeks to preserve motion and to enhance any cartilage repair
  • Physical therapy: Begins right away to maintain range of motion. Patients will be weaned off crutches after a thorough review of x-rays to assess healing. Strengthening exercises are then used to regain muscle and flexibility.

Depending on the complexity of the case, patients can expect a substantial increase in knee function and pain relief six to twelve months after a knee osteotomy.

Knee Osteoarthritis Restoration Surgeon

A knee osteotomy is a surgical procedure performed to reduce pain from early arthritis, or previous trauma to the knee, and to help realign the knee. This procedure is an excellent option for individuals experiencing knee pain who are unable, or do not wish to receive a total knee replacement. Complex knee surgeon Doctor Armando Vidal provides diagnosis and treatment for patients in Vail, Aspen, and the surrounding Denver, Colorado communities who are experiencing knee pain and stiffness. Contact Dr. Vidal’s team today!


The Steadman Clinic – Vail, CO
180 S Frontage Rd W
Vail, CO 81657

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226 Lusher Court
Ste 101
Frisco, CO 80443

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322 Beard Creek Road
Edwards, CO 81632


Office Hours
Monday-Friday: 8:00am – 5:00pm

Mailing Address
181 Meadow Dr, Suite 400
Vail, CO 81657

970-401-8940 Direct
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