A closing wedge osteotomy is an operation to change the angulation of a bone (eg femur or tibia) by cutting a wedge out of one side and closing the gap.

distal femoral osteotomy for osteochondral defect
The re-shaped bone is held together with screws and plates until the bone heals strongly again.


Closing- versus opening-wedge

Closing-wedge osteotomy can be contrasted with 'opening wedge' osteotomy - the decision about which to do is usually made after assessing long-leg weight-bearing X-rays and feeding the information into a computer application. Distal femoral osteotomy as in this example is usually a closing wedge. The bone is simply removed and discarded. High tibial osteotomy, in contrast, is usually an opening wedge and the gap is either left to fill with new bone or bone graft is packed into the defect.

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closing wedge

Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

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