We present our experience of using tension band plates to achieve guided growth in children for correction of calcaneus deformity around the ankle.
Our study included 9 consecutive patients (11 ankles) with calcaneus deformity, over a period of 4 years. Surgical treatment with extra periosteal application of flexible 2 hole plate and screws on posterior aspect of distal tibial physis was carried out.
The indications for treatment were residual clubfoot deformity in 9, posttraumatic in 1, and neurologic in 1. The average age of the patients was 10 years (range, 4 to 13 y). There were 7 males and 2 females.
Serial preoperative and postoperative radiographs were used to measure deformity correction and anterior distal tibia angle (ADTA), lateral distal tibial angle (LDTA), and Screw Divergence Angle (angle subtended by lines passing through the screws) were measured. A 2-tailed student t test was used to determine statistical significance.
The ADTA showed mean correction of 8.41 degrees (range, 3.1 to 16.6 degrees) this was statistically significant with P-value of 0.0003.
The change in LDTA was not statistically significant (P-value=0.05) reinforcing the aptness of the procedure and that the procedure did not result in coronal plane deformities. Six ankles required revision of fixation: 4 due to metalwork reaching its maximum limit of divergence at an average of 1 year, 1 ankle had screw pull-out, and another ankle was revised due to technical error in screw selection. In our study there were no cases of infection.
We report satisfactory short-term results of correction of calcaneus deformity using flexible tension band plates and screws. In our opinion this is an effective alternative providing gradual correction with easy and minimally invasive surgical technique. It does not violate the physis and is easy to remove and revise. It is safe and well tolerated and can be grouped with other procedures with ease.
Level of Evidence:
Level IV—case series.