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Results and Complications of a Surgical Technique for Correction of Coxa Vara in Children With Osteopenic Bones

Fassier, François MD*†; Sardar, Zeeshan MSc†; Aarabi, Mehdi MD†; Odent, Thierry MD‡; Haque, Tasima MEng†; Hamdy, Reggie MD†

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics: December 2008 - Volume 28 - Issue 8 - pp 799-805
doi: 10.1097/BPO.0b013e31818e19b7

Background: Surgical correction of coxa vara in children with osteopenic bone diseases could be very challenging. In this study, we describe a modified surgical technique for the correction of coxa vara in children with bone fragility. We also report the results and complications of this technique in 16 children (21 coxa vara) with osteopenic bone diseases.

Methods: Charts, clinic notes, and radiology images of 16 patients (21 hips) who had a proximal femoral osteotomy for the treatment of coxa vara in osteogenesis imperfecta (18 hips) and fibrous dysplasia (3 hips) in our institution between 1996 and 2005 were reviewed. The modified surgery involved an intertrochanteric osteotomy and the use of Kirshner wires and intramedullary rods. Neck-shaft angle, Hilgenreiner-epiphyseal angle, and head-shaft angle were assessed at preoperative, postoperative, and final follow-up.

Results: The average age at surgery was 8.3 years (range, 3.3-15.8 years). The average correction of the neck-shaft angle was from 84.6 to 114.4 degrees, and for the Hilgenreiner-epiphyseal angle, it was from 67.7 to 42 degrees at final follow-up. All osteotomies were healed at 3 months postoperatively. The mean follow-up was 4.29 years (range, 1.70-8.12 years). The average improvement in abduction and external rotation of the hips was 14 and 15 degrees, respectively. There were no cases of infection and 2 cases (12%) of implant-related complications. One patient with fibrous dysplasia needed replacement of the intramedullary rod and additional distal femoral osteotomy 1 week postsurgery. In another patient, the intramedullary rod had migrated proximally, which was corrected 5 months postsurgery by advancing the rod distally.

Conclusion: Results suggest that this surgical technique provides satisfactory correction of coxa vara in children with osteopenic bone diseases.

Clinical Relevance: The described surgical technique used to correct coxa vara is reproducible and safe and has few complications. Furthermore, the size of the implants used allows surgery to be performed in very young children.

From the *Pediatric Orthopaedics, McGill University, †Shriners Hospital for Children, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and ‡Service d'orthopédie et traumatologie infantile, Hôpital des enfants malades, Paris, France.

None of the authors received financial support for this study.

The study was conducted at Shriners Hospital for Children and the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Reprints: François Fassier, MD, Shriners Hospital for Children, McGill University, 1529, Cedar Ave, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3G 1A6. E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.