Osteotomy Scar update, 2 years on

In January 2018, I underwent a Tibial Osteotomy operation in the UK. I had been suffering from the onset of arthritis on my right knee and needed a solution that would avoid a knee replacement operation and get my life back to some level of normality.

Oh, the memories of the metal plates supporting my tibia. I keep forgetting, its major surgery

With Covid-19 lockdown restrictions still in play in the UK, I have tried to keep up my fitness and exercise regime. Getting back on to my mountain bike and cycling on quiet roads on a sunny day, are great! I have been logging my activities on Strava and have covered 250km per month since march; not bad considering I cycled 200km in total between 2018-2019.

The activity I miss the most is weight training. The loss of muscle mass around my knee is telling and some pain has returned. At least the gyms reopen in July. I guess I lack motivation of weight training at home as I really want to get out of the house for a change of scene; especially when working from home.

I wanted to share the status of my operation scars. If you are part way through your recovery journey, it may serve useful to set some expectations.

My initial tibial Osteotomy was in January 2018, and in March 2019 I went back to hospital to remove the metal plates and screws.

As a reminder, this is my leg post operation:

metal pins applied where incisions were made below the right knee

What the scarring looks like today

Scarring shows up in the summer but not as prevalent

I am left with a 7.5 cm scar and using Bio Oil (or similar products) has helped in hiding some of the blemishes. The a vertical cut (as seen in the previous picture) and is barely visible. I am still experiencing loss of nerve sensation on my shin, but you get used to it.

Until my next post – I wont leave the next post too far away.

2 thoughts on “Osteotomy Scar update, 2 years on

  1. Hi Jay, I’ve just finished reading your cracking blog. I had a high tibial osteotomy this week on Monday 14th Dec 2020 and was discharged from hospital late Tuesday. Your blog has given me real insight into what I can expect my recovery to look like so thank you for sharing your experience!! I’m a 40 year old with a history of knee trouble caused by rugby and football injuries. This is my 3rd knee op on my right leg- Following an ACL rupture in 2012. Fingers crossed this one makes my pain go away!! My op was delayed from April due to COVID so I continued to run 6-10 miles a week and exercise on the advice of my surgeon right up until my op! It’s been tough mentally to accept that I’ll be inactive for a while but looking at the X-rays, seeing medial bone on bone rubbing caused by my bowed leg and running through constant pain has convinced me it’s 3 steps backward to go 4 forwards hopefully with the goal of delaying an TKR for 10-15 years.
    I need to lose some weight and similar to yourself am looking forward to returning to the gym and running again on the treadmill.
    Can I ask after how long were you allowed to cycle?
    Thanks again and best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Pete,

      I appreciate you reading my blog and your feedback.

      Your recovery depends on how much bone was taken out as part of the procedure. I was right on the border of it being OK so a lot of bone was taken out. This does impact on the recovery times and movability.

      The aspect for you at this early stage is physio work to get your muscles growing. I had to work hard on simple things like balancing and standing on 1 leg. Having muscle mass and movement gradually return is key in the early months ( as well as keeping the weight down)

      I started with a stationary cycle (at the gym) after 2 months. As i was on crutches, my local gym had to ensure i was not a liability and had to be supervised. I worked on low resistance and cycled for up to 10minutes and gradually built up strength and duration.

      I think i was more cautious and didn’t go road cycling until 5 months had passed. Sometimes i experienced swelling caused by the metalwork and so its about pain management.

      Just listen to your body and work within your threshold. Things do get back to a ‘normal’ but its a journey.

      Good luck Pete and I wish you well.


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