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Foot and Ankle Function after Tibial Overlengthening.

J Foot Ankle Surg. 2013 Jul 13;

Authors: Emara KM, Diab RA, El Ghazali S, Farouk A, El Kersh MA


Lengthening the tibia more than 25% of its original length can be indicated for proximal femoral deficiency, poliomyelitis, or femoral infected nonunion. Such lengthening of the tibia can adversely affect the ankle or foot shape and function. The present study aimed to assess the effect of tibial lengthening of more than 25% of its original length on the foot and ankle shape and function compared with the preoperative condition. This was a retrospective study of 13 children with severe proximal focal femoral deficiency, Aitken classification type D, who had undergone limb lengthening from June 2000 to June 2008 using Ilizarov external fixators. The techniques used in tibial lengthening included lengthening without intramedullary rodding and lengthening over a nail. The foot assessment was done preoperatively, at fixator removal, and then annually for 3 years, documenting the range of motion and deformity of the ankle and subtalar joints and big toe and the navicular height, calcaneal pitch angle, and talo-first metatarsal angle. At fixator removal, all cases showed equinocavovarus deformity, with decreased ankle, subtalar, and big toe motion. The mean American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society score was significantly reduced. During follow-up, the range of motion, foot deformity, and American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society score improved, reaching nearly to the preoperative condition by 2 years of follow-up. The results of our study have shown that tibial overlengthening has an adverse effect on foot and ankle function. This effect was reversible in the patients included in the present study. Lengthening of more than 25% can be safely done after careful discussion with the patients and their families about the probable effects of lengthening on foot and ankle function.

PMID: 23860130 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]