Long-term follow-up after bilateral percutaneous epiphysiodesis around the knee to reduce excessive predicted final height

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Abstract

Context

Percutaneous epiphysiodesis (PE) around the knee to reduce predicted excessive final height. Studies until now included small numbers of patients and short follow-up periods.

Objective and design

This Dutch multicentre, long-term, retrospective, follow-up study aimed to assess adult height (AH), complications, knee function and patient satisfaction after PE. The primary hypothesis was that PE around the knee in constitutionally tall boys and girls is an effective treatment for reducing final height with low complication rates and a high level of patient satisfaction.

Participants

77 treated adolescents and 60 comparisons.

Intervention

Percutaneous epiphysiodesis.

Outcome

AH, complications, knee function, satisfaction.

Results

In the PE-treated group, final height was 7.0 cm (±6.3 cm) lower than predicted in boys and 5.9 cm (±3.7 cm) lower than predicted in girls. Short-term complications in file search were seen in 5.1% (three infections, one temporary nerve injury), one requiring reoperation. Long-term complications in file search were seen in 2.6% (axis deformity 1.3%, prominent head of fibula 1.3%). No significant difference in knee function was found between treated cases and comparisons. Satisfaction was high in both the comparison and PE groups; most patients in the PE group recommended PE as the treatment for close relatives with tall stature.

Conclusion

PE is safe and effective in children with predicted excessive AH. There was no difference in patient satisfaction between the PE and comparison group. Careful and detailed counselling is needed before embarking on treatment.

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