Introduction and Objective:
Congenital femoral deficiency (CFD) is a malformation that affects 0.2 persons per 10,000 live births. The orthopedic treatment proposed for this disease is bone lengthening using an external fixator (EF). During this treatment, reductions in the range of motion (ROM) of the knee, alterations in the gait speed (GS), and worse quality of life (QOL) commonly occur. Therefore, rehabilitation of patients with CFD receiving this treatment is essential. Aquatic physical therapy (APT) is an innovative approach for this population, however, there are no reports on the effects of APT in patients with CFD after bone lengthening. The objective of this study was to assess the influence of APT on the knee ROM, GS, and QOL of 2 children with CFD implanted with an EF.
Two children with right-sided CFD implanted with an EF were selected. They received an APT protocol focusing on balance, muscle activation, analgesia and mobility of the right knee, and gait. The right knee ROM, GS, and QOL were measured using right knee goniometry, a 10-m walk test before and after each session, and the Child Health Questionnaire–Parent Form 50 before and after the protocol.
An increase in the ROM of the right knee and an improvement in the QOL were observed after the protocol. Only one of the children had an increased GS.
The APT protocol increased the knee ROM and improved QOL of the 2 children with CFD implanted with an EF.