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Treatment of Severe Torsional Malalignment Syndrome

Delgado, Eliana D. M.D.*†‡; Schoenecker, Perry L. M.D.*†‡; Rich, Margaret M. M.D.*; Capelli, Ann M. R.N.*

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics: July-August 1996 - Volume 16 - Issue 4 - p 484-488
Lower Extremity
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Summary Over a 7-year period (1984-1991), nine patients (aged 10-18 years) with 13 involved extremities were operatively treated for symptomatic severe torsional malalignment of the lower extremity and associated patellofemoral pathology. Physical examination and analysis of gait revealed severe rotational deformity characterized by excessive femoral anteversion and external tibial torsion. The cosmetic and functional pathologic effect of this torsional malalignment was centered about the knee joint. In all patients, conservative treatment, including therapy for muscle strengthening and nonsteroidal medication, was unsuccessful in alleviating suspected patellofemoral pain. Subsequent definitive operative treatment in all 13 extremities consisted of corrective osteotomies, internally rotating the distal part of the tibia or externally rotating the distal part of the femur or both. Osteotomies were performed as close to the knee joint as possible. No additional soft-tissue procedures were performed directly to affect patellar tracking. All osteotomies healed without complications. At an average follow-up of 2 years + 7 months (range, 18-48 months) overall, patients had an improvement in gait pattern, extremity appearance, and a marked decrease in knee pain.

Study conducted at the Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children, St. Louis Unit, and St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

From the *Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children, St. Louis Unit, St. Louis Children's Hospital, and Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. P. L. Schoenecker, Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, 2001 South Lindbergh Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63131, U.S.A.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.