Clinical Relevance of Valgus Deformity of Proximal Femur in Cerebral Palsy

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Proximal femoral deformity related to physis has not been studied in patients with cerebral palsy (CP). This study was performed to investigate the clinical relevance of neck shaft angle (NSA), head shaft angle (HSA), and proximal femoral epiphyseal shape in patients with CP, which represent the deformities of metaphysis, physis, and epiphysis, respectively.


Three hundred eighty-four patients with CP (mean age 9.1 y, 249 males and 135 females) were included. Extent of involvement and functional states [Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level] were obtained. Radiographic measurements including NSA, HSA, and qualitative shape of the proximal femoral epiphysis were evaluated and analyzed according to extent of involvement and GMFCS level. Reliability and correlation with each measurement were assessed. Multiple regression test was performed to examine the significant contributing factors to migration percentage (MP) that represents hip instability.


NSA showed excellent interobserver reliability with intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.976. Correlation with the MP was higher in the NSA (r=0.419, P<0.001) than in the HSA (r=0.256, P<0.001). NSA, HSA, and MP tended to increase with increasing GMFCS level, and proportion of valgus deformed proximal femoral epiphysis also increased with increasing GMFCS level, which means valgus deformity and unstable hips in the less favorable functional states. Multiple regression analysis revealed NSA, GMFCS level, and shape of the proximal femoral epiphysis to be significant factors affecting MP.


NSA appeared to be more clinically relevant than HSA in evaluating proximal femoral deformity in patients with CP. Shape of proximal femoral epiphysis is believed to have clinical implications in terms of hip instability.

Level of Evidence

Diagnostic level II.

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