G. Ulrich Exner, Gerardo J. Maquieira, Leonhard E. Ramseier

Bending osteotomy through the distal tibial physis for stable reduction of the ankle joint in fibular hemimelia. Update at skeletal maturity

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

Fibular hemimelia is a complex longitudinal malformation of the lower extremity with partial or complete deficiency of the fibula resulting in dorso-fibular dislocation of the hindfoot. Typically associated are talocalcaneal coalition, absence of rays of the foot, diaphyseal tibial deformity of valgus-procurvatum type and longitudinal growth deficiency. We have addressed the deformity of the distal tibial epiphysis surgically by a metaphyseal osteotomy to bend through the physis inspired by the Pemberton’s acetabular osteotomy in 7 to 21-month-old children. Short-term results of a maximum of 42 months of follow-up have been published. Meanwhile, the first 4 patients thus treated have reached skeletal maturity, and the long-term results are presented. Three patients with unilateral and one patient with bilateral fibular hemimelia were operated on as described before at ages 7, 9, 15, and 18 months. Subsequently, several other procedures have been performed on all patients mainly consisting of lengthening of the tibia combined with axial corrections as well as additional foot alignment if needed. The osteotomy leads to stable axial retainment of the hindfoot in all patients without premature closure of the physis. Most of them need adaptation of footwear. None of the patients at present would favor to have been treated by amputation. The technique has shown good clinical results with preserved growth of the physis of the distal tibia and full axial weight bearing at long-term. In selected cases, this technique should be considered as a valuable alternative to other reconstructions.

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