Understanding the Basics Behind Alignment/Deformity Correction Procedure
What is an Alignment/Deformity Correction Procedure?
Consistent knee pain and acute knee injuries can greatly hinder your ability to live your everyday life.
In the case of alignment and deformity issues, KCOA offers correction procedures designed to alleviate painful symptoms and realign the structure of the knee. Knee alignment and deformity issues can occur in patients of all ages, whether it’s due to arthritis, trauma, bone tumors, or other issues. If left untreated, this issue can lead to pain and joint degeneration over time.
The providers at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance are adept at finding the necessary treatments to correct the issue. Our expert orthopedic knee physicians at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance have the knowledge required to treat numerous issues, both surgically and non-surgically. When you visit a specialist at KCOA, we focus on creating a treatment plan based on your specific conditions, symptoms, and recovery goals.
Common signs of an alignment issue or deformity include:
- A visible knock-knee or bow-legged appearance
- Pain in the knee, hip, foot, or ankle
- Walking with a limp
- And more
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance Knee & Leg Injuries Assessment
Assessing the Injury
Determining the proper treatment process for knee and leg injuries starts with an assessment from one of our experienced providers.
You can think of knee pain as a spectrum, with some instances being more severe than others. The KCOA orthopedic specialists always focus on each patient and their concerns before creating a treatment plan.
Therefore, during your initial appointment, we will often ask questions such as:
From there, we can decide what treatment option will align best with your needs and lifestyle goals. Once we’ve completed a proper assessment, your provider will often begin with a physical examination to help determine the origin point of your pain. In some cases, advanced testing may be required for a full diagnosis.
- Does your pain currently limit you or your activities?
- Has your pain progressed or worsened recently?
- Has the malalignment or deformity progressively worsened in the past year?
- Did you notice or hear a popping sound at the time of your injury?
- Have you noticed any change in your symptoms that has made it more challenging to function?
- What are your lifestyle goals?
- How has pain affected those goals?
Also called radiographs, an X-ray captures a picture of the knee. Orthopedic physicians may order an X-ray to rule out the possibility of a fracture (broken bone), osteoarthritis, or other bone-related conditions.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
MRI captures images of muscles, bones, cartilage, and tendons to help provide information other tests can’t detail. During an MRI, you will lie on a table that slides into a tube-shaped scanner. The machine creates a magnetic field around you, using pulsed radio waves to form the MRI images.
Establishing a Care Plan
Based on the results of your interview, examination, and imaging studies, you can expect a custom care plan catered specifically to you.
Many people believe it’s best to wait until pain becomes severe, leading them to “push off” or delay treatments like alignment correction and reconstruction in Kansas City.
If you are in constant discomfort, have shooting or stabbing pains, have a limited range of motion, or an inability to perform your daily activities, alignment/deformity correction treatments may be right for you.
New technologies allow patients with knee malalignment or deformity issues to fully recover and enjoy the benefits of a more functional, pain-free lifestyle.
Prior to surgery, you will typically receive at least 2 phone calls:
- A hospital registration representative will call to gather insurance and other personal information.
- A registered nurse will call to review your health history and medication information.
Dependent on your health history, your physician may require:
- Pre-surgical laboratory tests
- Primary care clearance
Pre-operative instructions will vary depending on your physician and the location of your surgery.
Always check with your physician before surgery for specific instructions.
Most physicians require that patients not eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery.
Additionally, you will need to designate a family member or friend to drive you home on the day you are released from the hospital. Surgical patients cannot drive themselves home.
Day of Surgery
If you schedule your surgery with a KCOA physician, you can expect the following on surgery day:
- A receptionist will check you in at the hospital registration desk.
- A nurse will take you back and prepare you for surgery. They will start an IV, prepare the surgical site, and review your medical history and medications.
- Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will visit with you prior to your operation.
- The surgical team will take you to the operation suite for surgery.
How it Works
If conservative treatments aren’t enough to heal the issue, a surgical procedure may be necessary to properly alleviate symptoms and restore function. In the case of alignment and deformity issues, one of the surgical treatments offered by surgeons at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance is a knee osteotomy.
A knee osteotomy is the cutting of bone to correct the knee’s alignment and improve its function with the goal of reducing chronic arthritis knee pain. Knee osteotomy is an option for patients who have unilateral knee arthritis, meaning there is damage on just one side, or “compartment,” of the knee joint.
The goal of the surgery is to correct the alignment by restoring a more normal knee position. This will shift some of the pressure away from the painful, damaged side of the knee joint and more evenly distribute it across the entire knee surfaces.
There are two common types of knee osteotomies. A high tibial osteotomy, which is a reshaping of the top of the shin bone, and a femoral osteotomy, which is a a reshaping of the bottom portion of the thigh bone.
During a high tibial osteotomy, your surgeon will either add or remove a wedge of bone to an area at the top of the tibia (shin bone). Our surgeons perform this specific procedure to help patients who are bow-legged.
A femoral osteotomy is similar, except it involves correcting the alignment by removing bone from the bottom of the femur (thigh bone). A femoral osteotomy is most commonly utilized when a patient is suffering from a knock-knee. Both procedures help patients alleviate their symptoms and restore function to the area.
The benefit of a knee osteotomy procedure is the fact that all parts of the knee, including the ligaments, can remain intact and maintain a natural feeling and a full range of motion.
Post-Op & What to Expect
A patient’s recovery plan and timeline will vary based on a variety of factors, including age, activity level, goals, and more.
However, taking care of your body will be essential to ensure optimal results from your correction procedure.
Following your procedure, patients will likely experience swelling, bruising and possible numbness in the treatment area.
Rest and ice will be critical immediately following surgery. Your provider may also provide you with pain medications, crutches, a brace, and more.
Full recovery after knee osteotomy can potentially take up to 18 months as your knee regains its strength. However, many patients can walk without an assistive device (crutches/walker) within 6 to 12 weeks.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Knee & Leg Injuries
With so many different structures working together in your knees, there are many potential causes of pain. And each of those causes has a unique set of symptoms.
Managing or treating knee alignment or deformity issues often starts with conservative measures like bracing and physical therapy. Though you can treat many knee issues with conservative measures and non-surgical options, sometimes surgery may be necessary if the patient’s knee doesn’t respond to these treatments. Knee injuries can also degenerate based on certain risk factors, such as age, activity level, whether or not you’re obese, and more.
Causes of Knee Pain
The body has different kinds of joints, and they all face different challenges.
The severity of your knee and leg pain can vary based on a number of factors, including the location and the source of the issue. The knee is a very vulnerable joint in your body that’s susceptible to injury from a forceful motion, as well as the wear and tear that builds up over the years.
Your knee relies on a number of structures to function, including bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons As the years go on, many people struggle with the effects of years of repeated movements, such as walking, running, or jumping. This can result in arthritis and other issues that require treatment from an orthopedic specialist in Kansas City.
For alignment and deformity issues, many patients struggle with arthritis on the inner side of the knee, causing the joint surface to wear down and giving them a bow-legged appearance. The same can occur in the outer portion of the knee and resulting in a knock-knee alignment. While this is most common in older adults, some younger patients may develop these malalignments as they grow due to a variety of potential conditions or stress on the knee joint.
In most cases, surgery is not the first option for treatment at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance. If we can treat your leg and knee issues with more conservative treatments, we’ll choose those options. We typically exhaust all non-surgical options prior to recommending surgery. Non-surgical treatments for meniscus injuries include:
A trained therapist will focus on the issue that’s causing the pain or symptoms as well as the deficits that are present as a result of an alignment or deformity issue. Stretches, strengthening exercises, manual soft tissue work and modalities like hot and cold therapy may be used to help you manage your symptoms and improve your function.
Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil) or prescription medications. Especially with NSAIDs, you should always talk to your doctor to ensure they are the right treatment for you.
Stabilization involves the use of braces or other supportive devices to reduce stress and unload the affected surfaces of the knee, reducing pain and allowing the joint to function more normally.
Frequently Asked Questions
Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance is here to help.
Our care is personal. Our team is knowledgeable. And we’re more available than ever.
With access to board-certified specialists across Kansas City, we have the tools to meet almost every musculoskeletal condition.
Overland Park, Kansas10777 Nall Ave Suite 300 Overland Park, KS 66211
Leawood, Kansas3651 College Blvd. Leawood, KS 66211
Kansas City, MissouriSaint Luke's Medical Plaza #1 4320 Wornall Rd., Ste. 610 Kansas City, MO 64111
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Merriam, Kansas7450 W. Frontage Rd Merriam, KS 66203
This place is amazing! I cannot say enough good things about our experience here! From the reception desk where they were beyond helpful and even made phone calls for me to my kids pediatrician to very short wait time then the patience and help of doctors and staff that were great with my 3 year old! Getting same day service this great was so nice! Love this place and highly recommend!!
Dr. Mark Winston is the best.
Dr. Mark Winston is the best. He is a caring and attentive physician who made a very painful injury so much easier for me. The staff is very professional and do an awesome job.
Very knowledgeable! They answered all my questions thoroughly and accurately! Very professional!