Question: What is hemicallotasis and when is it used to treat osteoarthritis or pain resulting from osteoarthritis?
Answer: Hemicallotasis is a form of osteotomy. Basically, it is a joint-realignment procedure. Osteotomy, in the traditional sense, has relied on either a cast or a plate and screws to hold the change in knee alignment that was produced by the surgery. Hemicallotasis on the other hand, uses what is called an external fixator frame. This external fixator frame can, so to speak, be 'dialed' in to obtain the desired correction in the limb alignment to thereby decrease a patient's pain. Unfortunately, hemicallotasis is an extremely complex procedure that in most series indicates that there is a significant complication rate. I therefore do not use this in my surgical armamentarium and I do not see surgeons in my area using this as a technique by which to treat osteoarthritis. In short, I feel the potential complications from this surgical intervention can outweigh the benefits.