Limb realignment (“straightening the bones and joints”) is a process that is aimed at correcting any deformities of the bones and around or within the joints. The aim is to restore normal anatomy in a single bone and in relation to the whole limb, to normalise the limb’s mechanical axis. The process eliminates the abnormal forces across the joints and allows the joints normal functioning.
It prevents or slows the occurrence of late complications such as uneven wear-out of the joint cartilage and joint degeneration, that the deformities are known to cause. The procedure involves osteotomy – cutting the bone – at the level of its deformity, realigning it and fixing it within a normal position with a plate, rod or external fixation device. It is typically recommended when there is a severe and obvious visual deformity of the limb, or if there is a subtle deformity that is symptomatic (causes pain, movement restriction or instability) and conservative treatments like physical therapy, bracing, or medication fail to provide improvement.
The primary goal of limb realignment surgery is to protect the joints from degeneration by restoring their normal alignment, alleviating pain, improving function, and, thereby enhancing the patient’s overall mobility and wellbeing.
Limb realignment surgery is considered for a range of conditions:
While limb realignment surgery is beneficial in many cases, it may not be suitable for everyone. Contraindications for this procedure include:
Each surgical option has its own benefits and risks. The surgeon will determine the most appropriate technique for an individual orthopaedic condition, considering the patient’s general health.
Limb realignment may be a very demanding process, especially in severe deformities. It needs a multidisciplinary team approach for optimal patient preparation, surgical planning and execution as well as postoperative care. Limb realignment procedures carry potential risks, and it is crucial for patients to have a comprehensive discussion with the team to understand the potential benefits and possible complications associated with the process.
There are several surgical techniques available for limb realignment, and the choice of procedure depends on the specific condition and the patient’s individual needs. The surgeon will determine the most appropriate technique for an individual orthopaedic condition, considering the patient’s general health.
If patients are worried about their level of pain, experience significant bleeding, or notice fever or redness around the surgical site, they should contact the office immediately. If assistance is needed after hours, patients can contact the hospital where the surgery was performed, and they will contact Professor Al Muderis on their behalf.
Norwest Private Hospital: (02) 8882 8882
Macquarie University Hospital: (02) 9812 3000