BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2017 11 1518(1) 456 doi 10.1186/s12891-017-1823-7
Idiopathic genu valgum is a frequently diagnosed growth disorder in adolescence. Whenever the possibilities of conservative therapy have been exhausted, leg straightening by means of hemiepiphysiodesis has become the standard form of treatment. Because of their flexible screw-plate connection, eight-Plates have been reported in the literature to lead to lower complications regarding implant loosening and fracture compared to other implants. The aim of this retrospective survey was to analyse our own patient population who were treated for genu valgum by means of temporary hemiepiphysiodesis near the knee using eight-Plates to modulate growth.
Between July 2007 and July 2015, 198 eight-Plates were implanted near the knee in 132 children suffering from genu valgum to modulate growth. Depending on the deformity analysis, an eight-Plate was implanted on the distal medial femur and/or the proximal medial tibia. By December 2015, they had been removed from 105 patients. The etiology of genu valgum was mainly idiopathic or associated withobesity. Evaluation was carried out clinically and radiologically (whole-leg X-ray in standing) including determination of the joint angles.
The median follow-up period was about 46 months (12-102 months). The median age at implantation was 12.7 +/-6.76 years. Of the 105 patients, 45.7% (n = 48) were girls. The eight-Plates remained in place for a median period of 13 +/-1.76 months. Irrespective of the location of hemiepiphysiodesis, the intermalleolar distance was corrected to a median of 0 +/-2.1 cm while the anatomical femorotibial angle was corrected by on average 9 +/-2.7 °Mechanical lateral distal femoral angle changed an average 7 +/- 7.72 degrees. Medial proximal tibial angle changed an average 4 +/- 6.02 degrees. Complications necessitating surgery occurred in 2.8% of cases (1 wound infection, 3 corrective osteotomies following overcorrection).
Temporary hemiepiphysiodesis using eight-Plates is a gentle, simple and effective procedure used to treat genu valgum by modulating growth. Slight overcorrection is desirable due to the rebound phenomenon, especially in young patients with high growth potential and risk groups such as obese children. In adolescents with only low growth potential (older than 14 years), owing to the low correction potential, the indication should be strictly reviewed and the possible failure of therapy should be discussed with the patient. No differences were observed regarding the location of the implanted eight-Plates (femoral or tibial).