Rotational Gait Patterns in Children and Adolescents Following Tension Band Plating of Idiopathic Genua Valga
Literature suggests that children and adolescents with idiopathic genua valga present with considerable gait deviations in frontal and transverse planes, including altered frontal knee moments, reduced external knee rotation, and increased external hip rotation. This study aimed to evaluate gait parameters in these patients after surgical correction using tension band plating (TBP). We prospectively evaluated 24 consecutive, skeletally immature patients, who received full-length standing radiographs and three-dimensional gait analysis before and after correction, and compared the results observed to a group of 11 typically developing peers. Prior to TBP the cohort showed significantly decreased (worse) internal frontal knee moments compared to the control group. After axis correction the mean and maximum knee moments changed significantly into normalized knee moments (p < 0.0001). In the transverse plane, only the foot progression angle (p = 0.020) changed significantly following intervention. Post-correction knee moments were similar to controls (p = 0.175), but the patient cohort exhibited a significantly decreased knee external rotation (p = 0.004) and increased external hip rotation (p < 0.001) during gait. In addition, the effect of transverse plane changes on knee moments in patients with restored, straight limb axis was calculated. Hence, patients with restored alignment but persistence of decreased external knee rotation demonstrated significantly greater knee moments than those without rotational abnormalities (p = 0.001). This study found that frontal knee moments during gait normalized in children with idiopathic genua valga after surgery. However, decreased external knee rotation and increased external hip rotation during gait persisted in the study cohort. Despite radiological correction, decreased external rotation during gait was associated with increases in medial knee loading. Surgical correction for children with genua valga but normal knee moments may be detrimental, due to redistribution of dynamic knee loading into the opposite joint compartment.