In this study, the results of percutaneous epiphysiodesis as a surgical method to decrease final height is described in 15 boys with a predicted final height of more than 205 cm. A total of 17 boys with a height prediction between 195 and 209 cm without treatment were included as controls. The study period was from 1995-2002 and patients were followed for a mean period of 3.9 years (range 2.3-6.5 years) after surgery; controls were followed for 8.3 years (range 2.0-12.1 years). Final height in the treated boys was 203.6 cm (range 195.5-214.5 cm) compared to the predicted height of 210.6 cm (range 205.7-222.7 cm). The reduction in final height versus the predicted height was 7 cm and ranged between 1.2 and 13.8 cm. Final height in the control boys was 199.9 cm (range 191.3-206.7 cm). No significant side-effects of epiphysiodesis were observed. Besides final height reduction, epiphysiodesis resulted in normalisation of body proportions, expressed as the subischial leg length/sitting height ratio. This ratio in the operated patients at final height was 0.96 (range 0.90-1.01) and in the controls 0.94 (range 0.88-1.03).
Conclusion: Epiphysiodesis can be advised as a method to decrease final height in boys with predicted tall stature. An additional advantage of this method is a normalisation of body proportions.