Childhood fibular hypoplasia is a rare pathology which may or may not involve limb-length discrepancy and axial deformity in one or more dimensions. The objective of the present study was to compare the quality of the axial correction achieved in lengthening procedures by hexapodal versus monorail external fixators. The hypothesis was that the hexapodal fixator provides more precise correction.
Material and methods
A retrospective multicenter study included 52 children with fibular hypoplasia. Seventy-two tibias were analyzed, in 2 groups: 52 using a hexapodal fixator, and 20 using a monorail fixator. Mean age was 10.2 years. Mean lengthening was 5.7cm. Deformities were analyzed and measured in 3 dimensions and classified in 4 preoperative types and 4 post-lengthening types according to residual deformity.
Complete correction was achieved in 26 tibias in the hexapodal group (50%) and 2 tibias in the monorail group (10%). Mean post-correction mechanical axis deviation was smaller in the hexapodal group: 12.83mm, versus 14.29mm in the monorail group. Mean post-correction mechanical lateral distal femoral angle was 87.5° in the hexapodal group, versus 84.3° in the monorail group (P=0.002), and mean mechanical medial proximal tibial angle 86.9° versus 89.5°, respectively (P=0.015).
No previous studies focused on this congenital pathology in lengthening and axial correction programs for childhood lower-limb deformity. The present study found the hexapodal fixator to be more effective in conserving or restoring mechanical axes during progressive bone lengthening for fibular hypoplasia.
The hexapodal fixator met the requirements of limb-length equalization in childhood congenital lower-limb hypoplasia, providing better axial correction than the monorail fixator.
Level of evidence
IV.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Hexapodal fixator, Congenital hypoplasia, Fibular hypoplasia, Limb lengthening, Deformity correction