Temporary hemiepiphysiodesis is a relatively minor surgical procedure in the growing child to allow guided growth to correct angular deformities. Blount staples (Stryker Howmedica, Kiel, Germany) have been used effectively for the past 50 years for physeal stapling; their limitations are poor mechanical purchase and easy extrusion from bone, implant breakage, and potential for physeal damage and permanent closure. Recently, an alternative device to Blount staples called the eight-Plate (Orthofix, McKinney, Texas) has been presented for hemiepiphysiodesis and guided growth. Their theoretical advantages over Blount staples include higher stability, faster correction of the deformity, and fewer complications.We performed a study in a pig model to compare the rate of angular deformity correction and implant extrusion after hemiepiphysiodesis with Blount staples and eight-Plates. In all animals, medial hemiepiphysiodesis was performed in the right proximal tibia with the eight-Plate and the left proximal tibia with the Blount staple. The medial slope angle, medial tibial plateau angle, proximal implant angle, distal implant angle, and distance of the body of the implant from the medial tibial cortex were measured on radiographs of the knee joints performed every 4 weeks. The angles of correction showed statistically significantly earlier effect on physeal guided growth of the eight-Plates compared to the Blount staples. Implant displacement/extrusion was statistically significantly lower for the eight-Plate. In this animal model, eight-Plates are significantly more effective than Blount staples for guided growth after temporary hemiepiphysiodesis.
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