The second phase of rehabilitation from six weeks onwards is directed at building up strength in the leg while the area of bone regrowth becomes stronger. After three months functional activities can be introduced.
At the 6-week follow-up appointment X-rays are taken and, if satisfactory, the brace is removed. Free full weight bearing is allowed.
At 6 weeks when full weight bearing is allowed then proprioception and strength work using bicycle and rowing machines can commence. Exercises would now include strength work building up load on the bicycle progressively taking full weight on the leg and starting low load open chain exercises.
Function gradually increases, tailored to each patient, with the expectation of fast walking by 3 months building up to running and sporting activities at five to six months post surgery.
Post-operative care for osteotomy combined with cartilage repair surgery
The management plan is altered if there is arthroscopic surgery performed at the time of osteotomy to repair the joint surface and this will need to be discussed with the surgeon.
• Weight bearing is restricted to touch wt bearing only for the first 6 weeks.
• Range of movement exercises are encouraged to mould the new surface.
• The overall timetable is much slower, expecting a build up to sport after 6 months rather than 4 months.