Acute Correction and Distraction Osteogenesis for the Malaligned and Shortened Lower Extremity

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In limbs with combined shortening with angulation or malrotation, deformity may be quickly or slowly corrected before lengthening with external fixation. We examined a series of 35 patients with 40 limbs that underwent acute deformity correction and subsequent gradual lengthening. The average deformity corrected was 19 °, with subsequent average lengthening of 4.1 cm. Good radiographic callus formation was noted in 34 of the 40 segments studied. The magnitude of deformity correction had no effect on the quality of lengthened bone, incidence of complications, or the healing index. Skeletally mature segments had statistically significant decreased bone formation (p = 0.001), increased prevalence of callus complications (p = 0.001), and a higher healing index (p = 0.003). Based on this experience, it is our conclusion that immediate correction and lengthening is suitable in children and adolescents who have malaligned and shortened lower extremities. Because of poorer results in older patients, we believe that other techniques should be considered in adults.

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