DOI: 10.1097/pxr.0000000000000303 ISSN: 0309-3646

Management of severe congenital femoral deficiency: Does surgical intervention enhance prosthetic function?

Peter Calder, Ahmed Elsheikh, George Cross, Matt Thornton, Jonathan Wright, Deborah Eastwood, Imad Sedki
  • Rehabilitation
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)

Background & Objective:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate prosthetic outcome in patients with severe congenital femoral deficiency and the potential benefits of surgical intervention on prosthetic fitting and gait.


A retrospective review identified 26 active case records with a proximal femoral focal deficiency using a prosthesis. Validated outcome measures evaluated comfort, function, and prosthetic use and quality-of-life assessment. Outcome compared age groups and surgical intervention. Gait analysis performed in 7 patients further evaluated hip and knee function.


Eleven male patients and 15 female patients, including 13 children (mean age 10 years, range 5–16) and 13 adults (mean age 36 years, range 23–63) were evaluated. Better prosthetic function and PedsQL scores were recorded in the pediatric group. There was a trend for better scores after surgery. Gait analysis demonstrated reduced hip extension compensated by knee flexion in 3 patients, 2 patients had hip extension with near normal kinematics, 1 untreated patient walked with an unsteady gait, and the remaining walked well using an ischial-bearing prosthesis with pelvic compensatory movements.


The management strategy in severe proximal femoral focal deficiency remains a major challenge. Hip reconstruction seems to improve functional scores. Overall, the scores seem to decline into adulthood but not significantly. Gait analysis before further surgical intervention is recommended because compensatory knee flexion may improve step length in terminal stance. Limited numbers, with short follow-up, prevents clear guidance on the benefit of surgery.

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