Limb length discrepancy and congenital limb anomalies in fibular hemimelia

J Pediatr Orthop B. 2010 Sep;19(5):436-40. doi: 10.1097/BPB.0b013e32832d5d7d.


The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of ipsilateral congenital musculoskeletal anomalies associated with fibular hemimelia. We also attempted to determine the corelation between the eventual limb length discrepancy at maturity and these associated anomalies, as well as the Achterman-Kalamchi class of these patients. The records and roentgenograms of 45 patients with fibular hemimelia were reviewed retrospectively. All patients were classified into three groups (types I-A, I-B, and II) according to the Achterman-Kalamchi system. The prevalence of congenital limb anomalies, lower extremity discrepancy percentage, and ultimate limb length discrepancy at skeletal maturity were evaluated. There was no significant statistical association between the number of congenital limb anomalies and severity of the limb length discrepancy, but patients included in the mildly affected group (type I-A) had a higher average prevalence of congenital limb anomalies than those classified as types I-B and II. There was a substantial correlation between congenital short femur as well as the Achterman-Kalamchi classification system and the predicted limb length discrepancy. A similar percentage of limb length discrepancy in types I-B and II was seen. In conclusion, the numbers of associated congenital limb anomalies are not predictive of the eventual limb length discrepancy. Presence of a congenital short femur and ball and socket ankle are predictive of a higher limb length discrepancy. Achterman-Kalamchi types I-B and II show a similar percentage of limb length discrepancy and this is significantly higher than that seen in type I-A.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnosis
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Delaware / epidemiology
  • Ectromelia / classification
  • Ectromelia / diagnosis
  • Ectromelia / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Fibula / abnormalities*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Leg Length Inequality / diagnosis
  • Leg Length Inequality / epidemiology*
  • Limb Deformities, Congenital / diagnosis
  • Limb Deformities, Congenital / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies