Congenital fibular deficiency

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2014 Apr;22(4):246-55. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-22-04-246.


Congenital fibular deficiency (CFD) is characterized by a wide spectrum of manifestations ranging from mild limb length inequality (LLI) to severe shortening, with foot and ankle deformities and associated anomalies. The etiology of CFD remains unclear. Treatment goals are to achieve normal weight bearing, a functional plantigrade foot, and equal limb length. The recent Birch classification system has been proposed to provide a treatment guide: the functionality of the foot, LLI, and associated anomalies should be taken into account for decision-making. Treatment options include orthosis or epiphysiodesis, Syme or Boyd amputation and prosthetic rehabilitation, limb lengthening procedures, and foot and ankle reconstruction. The outcome of amputation for severe forms of CFD has shown favorable results and fewer complications compared with those of limb lengthening. Nevertheless, advances in the limb lengthening techniques may change our approach to treating patients with CFD and might extend the indications for reconstructive procedures to the treatment of severe LLI and foot deformities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / diagnosis
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / surgery*
  • Amputation, Surgical
  • Ankle Joint / abnormalities
  • Ankle Joint / surgery*
  • Fibula / abnormalities*
  • Fibula / surgery
  • Foot
  • Foot Deformities, Congenital / surgery
  • Foot Orthoses
  • Genu Valgum / therapy
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / therapy
  • Knee Joint
  • Lower Extremity Deformities, Congenital / classification
  • Lower Extremity Deformities, Congenital / diagnosis
  • Lower Extremity Deformities, Congenital / etiology
  • Lower Extremity Deformities, Congenital / surgery*
  • Osteogenesis, Distraction