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The procedure

The procedure

Joint distraction without alignment correction is a technique that can be used to treat osteoarthritis in the knee. The knee joint is where the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia) meet. The ends of each bone are covered in a layer of cartilage, which acts like a shock absorber in the joint. In osteoarthritis, the cartilage becomes rough and thin and the ends of the bones become exposed.

In this procedure, a metal frame is fixed around the knee while the patient is under general anaesthetic or a spinal block. The frame is attached to pins that are drilled through the tibia and the femur. The joint is pulled slightly apart using the frame, which usually stays in place for 2 to 3 months. During this time, the person is able to walk.

The aim is to take weight off the joint and encourage the cartilage to repair itself.

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