Late-presenting or recurrent infantile Blount disease (IBD) is characterized by knee instability because of medial tibial plateau depression, multiplanar proximal tibial deformity, and potential distal femoral deformity. The surgical treatment strategy includes medial elevation osteotomy to stabilize the knee, together with proximal tibial osteotomy to correct alignment, and lateral epiphysiodesis to prevent a recurrence. This study’s primary aim was to describe the clinical outcomes of medial elevation osteotomy for the management of late-presenting and recurrent IBD.
The authors reviewed the records of 48 children (64 limbs) who had medial elevation osteotomies and lateral epiphysiodesis, combined with proximal tibial realignment in 78% (50/64) of cases in the same setting. IBD was bilateral in 33% (16/48), 77% (37/48) were female individuals, and 42% (20/48) were obese.
The mean age at surgery was 8.6 years (SD, 1.6; range, 5.8 to 12.8). The mean preoperative tibiofemoral angle (TFA) was 28±11 degrees (8 to 55 degrees), and the mean angle of depression of the medial plateau (ADMP) was 49±8 degrees (26 to 65 degrees). Distal femoral valgus was present in 27% (17/62) and varus in 10% (6/62) children. At a median follow-up of 3.2 years (range, 1 to 6.2 y), the median TFA was 1-degree valgus (interquartile range, 7-degree varus to 5-degree valgus), whereas the ADMP was corrected to 25±8 degrees (8 to 45 degrees). Obesity was associated with more severe deformity as measured by TFA (P<0.001) but did not affect the extent of medial plateau depression (P=0.113). The good or excellent alignment was achieved in 75% (47/63) limbs. Obesity was associated with an increased risk of recurrence [odds ratio (OR), 5.21; 95% CI, 1.26-21.63; P=0.023]. Age at the surgery or previous surgery was not associated with recurrence (OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 0.88-1.88; P=0.195 and OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.36-4.17; P=0.746). Obesity and residual instability were associated with an increased risk of poor alignment at the latest follow-up (OR, 3.24; 95% CI, 1.02-10.31; P=0.047 and OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.05-1.40; P=0.008).
Late-presenting or recurrent IBD is a surgical challenge. Obesity is associated with more severe deformity. Medial elevation osteotomy combined with lateral proximal tibial epiphysiodesis and metaphyseal tibial realignment osteotomy will result in restoration of lower limb alignment in a high proportion of cases. The recurrent deformity may be the result of failed epiphysiodesis. Obesity and residual instability are associated with an increased risk of poor alignment. Although complications are rare, surgical measures to decrease risk should be followed.
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