If you have a bow leg & wear and tear and pain on the inner side, then you may be suitable for a realignment procedure. With a bow leg, a “plumb line” dropped form the centre of your hip to the centre of your ankle falls through the area where the wear and tear is worst & in this case it is possible to straighten the leg (actually, it is best to slightly over-correct the leg so it is just slightly “knock-kneed”) so that the weight goes through the middle of the knee. I compare this to having the wheels on the car rotated so that the good bit of tread which is left can do some work instead of relying on the worn areas.
This involves making a cut across the bone and fixing it with a surgical plate in a better position. The wedge-shaped gap which is left can usually be filled with artificial bone, but it still needs to heal up just like a fracture and this takes 6-12 weeks.
This is clearly quite a big operation, but is still often very worthwhile in patients who are too young, or otherwise unsuitable for joint replacement. It preserves the patient’s own bone so that a joint replacement can be done later if it turns out to be necessary.