Blount disease is a disorder of the posteromedial proximal tibial physis which causes a progressive varus, procurvatum, and internal rotation deformity of the tibia. Untreated, it can cause significant limb malalignment. The goal of this study is to evaluate the results of correction of Blount disease using types of external fixation.
We conducted a retrospective review of 41 patients (51 limbs) who underwent correction of Blount disease with an Ilizarov external fixator or a Taylor spatial frame (TSF) by a single surgeon. The medial proximal tibial angle (MPTA), mean axis deviation (MAD), posterior proximal tibial angle, and joint line congruence angle (JLCA) were measured on radiographs preoperatively, at frame removal and at final follow-up.
The average age at treatment was 9.6 years old, with a mean follow-up time of 34 months. Mean preoperative MPTA, MAD, and JLCA were significantly improved at the time of frame removal as well as at final follow-up with no significant changes in correction between the time of frame removal and final follow-up. There was no difference in MPTA and MAD in patients treated with an Ilizarov frame versus a TSF. MPTA, MAD, and JLCA all significantly improved regardless of the underlying diagnosis (infantile vs. adolescent Blount disease) or history of prior surgical intervention. The most common complication was superficial pin-site infection.
Both Iliazarov and TSF are viable treatment options for infantile and adolescent Blount disease, with the ability to significantly improve both the limb mechanical axis and the mechanical axis of the affected tibia. Correction can be attained regardless of whether patients have previously failed surgical intervention.
Level III—retrospective comparative study.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
No additional funding was provided for this study.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Reprints: Elizabeth W. Hubbard, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, 200 Trent Drive, P.O. Box 3000, Durham, NC 27710. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.