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Transphyseal Osteotomy of the Distal Tibia for Correction of Valgus/Varus Deformities of the Ankle

Lubicky, John P. M.D.*; Altiok, Haluk M.D.


This study is a retrospective review of the results of consecutive cases of a transphyseal osteotomy of the distal tibia. Indications for the procedure are significant valgus or varus deformities of the ankle needing acute correction because of problems with the skin and brace fit as well as progressive deformity. Twenty-one patients with a variety of underlying diagnoses, five with bilateral deformities, underwent this procedure. The technique involved making either a medially based closing or opening wedge with the distal limb of the osteotomy through the physis or the physeal scar so that it was very close to the ankle joint. A fibular osteotomy was not necessary except in three ankles. All osteotomies healed. All patients were able to ambulate and use their braces as soon as their osteotomies healed, and none had any further pressure sores or brace-related problems, although some had mild residual valgus or varus deformities. There were no significant leg-length discrepancy problems as a result of the surgery. This osteotomy is a treatment alternative for significant angular deformities of the ankle that require acute correction.

Study conducted at Shriners Hospitals for Children, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

From *Shriners Hospitals for Children, Chicago; Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Rush Medical College, Chicago; †Shriners Hospitals for Children, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. J. P. Lubicky, Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2211 N. Oak Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60707, U.S.A. E-mail:

© 2001 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.