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Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 454873, 9 pages
Review Article

Current Surgical Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hôpital Cantonal Fribourg, 1708 Fribourg, Switzerland

Received 14 August 2010; Revised 4 January 2011; Accepted 28 February 2011

Academic Editor: Annamaria Iagnocco

Copyright © 2011 Karolin Rönn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Osteoathritis (OA) of the knee is common, and the chances of suffering from OA increase with age. Its treatment should be initially nonoperative—and requires both pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatment modalities. If conservative therapy fails, surgery should be considered. Surgical treatments for knee OA include arthroscopy, cartilage repair, osteotomy, and knee arthroplasty. Determining which of these procedures is most appropriate depends on several factors, including the location, stage of OA, comorbidities on the one side and patients suffering on the other side. Arthroscopic lavage and débridement is often carried out, but does not alter disease progression. If OA is limited to one compartment, unicompartmental knee arthroplasty or unloading osteotomy can be considered. They are recommended in young and active patients in regard to the risks and limited durability of total knee replacement. Total arthroplasty of the knee is a common and safe method in the elderly patients with advanced knee OA. This paper summarizes current surgical treatment strategies for knee OA, with a focus on the latest developments, indications and level of evidence.