Introduction: The guided growth technique is an alternative to corrective osteotomy for treating angular deformities of the extremities. It has the advantage of being minimally invasive and is effective in a growing child. This study reports on the outcome of guided growth technique using a plate in correcting knee angular deformities.
Material and methods: We conducted a retrospective study of children with angular deformity of the knee treated by the guided growth technique from January 2010 to December 2015 in a tertiary centre. The guided growth technique was done using either the flexible titanium plate (8-plate) or the 2-hole reconstruction plate. Correction of deformity was assessed on radiographs by evaluating the mechanical axis deviation and tibiofemoral angle. The implants were removed once deformity correction was achieved.
Results: A total of 17 patients (27 knees) were evaluated. Twenty-two knees (81.5%) achieved complete correction of the deformity. The median age was 4.0 (interquartile range 3.0-6.0) years and the median Body Mass Index (BMI) was 26.0 (25.0-28.0). There were 7 unilateral and 10 bilateral deformities with different pathologies (14 tibia vara, 3 genu valgus). The median rate of correction was 0.71° per month. One patient (1 knee) had screw pull-out and two patients (4 knees) had broken screws in the proximal tibia. Three patients (5 knees) failed to achieve complete correction and were subsequently treated with corrective osteotomies. Out of five patients (8 knees) who were followed-up for at least 12 months after removal of hardware, two had rebound deformities. No permanent growth retardation occurred in our patients.
Conclusion: Our outcome for guided growth to correct knee angular deformity was similar to other studies. Guided growth is safe to perform in children below 12 years old and has good outcome in idiopathic genu valgus and Langeskiold II for tibia vara. Patients should be observed for recurrence until skeletal maturity following implant removal.
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