Eight-plate epiphysiodesis: ARE WE CREATING AN INTRA-ARTICULAR DEFORMITY?

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Abstract

Aims

Guided growth using eight-plates is commonly used for correction of angular limb deformities in growing children. The principle is of tethering at the physeal periphery while enabling growth in the rest of the physis. The method is also applied for epiphysiodesis to correct limb-length discrepancy (LLD). Concerns have been raised regarding the potential of this method to create an epiphyseal deformity. However, this has not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to detect and quantify the occurrence of deformities in the proximal tibial epiphysis following treatment with eight-plates.

Patients and Methods

A retrospective study was performed including 42 children at a mean age of 10.8 years (3.7 to 15.7) undergoing eight-plate insertion in the proximal tibia for correction of coronal plane deformities or LLD between 2007 and 2015. A total of 64 plates were inserted; 48 plates (34 patients) were inserted to correct angular deformities and 16 plates (8 patients) for LLD. Medical records, Picture Archive and Communication System images, and conventional radiographs were reviewed. Measurements included interscrew angle, lateral and medial plateau slope angles measured between the plateau surface and the line between the ends of the physis, and tibial plateau roof angle defined as 180° minus the sum of both plateau angles. Measurements were compared between radiographs performed adjacent to surgery and those at latest follow-up, and between operated and non-operated plateaus. Statistical analysis was performed using BMDP Statistical Software.

Results

Slope angle increased in 31 (49.2%) of operated epiphyses by a mean of 5° (1° to 23°) compared with 29 (31.9%) in non-operated epiphyses (p = 0.043). Roof angle decreased in 29 (46.0%) of operated tibias and in 25 (27.5%) of non-operated ones by a mean of 5° (1° to 18°) (p = 0.028). Slope angle change frequency was similar in patients with LLD, varus and valgus correction (p = 0.37) but roof angle changes were slightly more frequent in LLD (p = 0.059) and correlated with the change in inter screw angles (r = 0.74, p = 0.001).

Conclusion

The use of eight-plates in the proximal tibia for deformity correction and limb-length equalization causes a change in the bony morphology of the tibial plateau in a significant number of patients and the effect is more pronounced in the correction of LLD.

Conclusion

Cite this article:Bone Joint J2018;100-B:1112–16.

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