Surgical reconstruction for fibular hemimelia

J Child Orthop. 2016 Dec;10(6):557-583. doi: 10.1007/s11832-016-0790-0. Epub 2016 Dec 1.


Fibular hemimelia presents with foot deformity and leg length discrepancy. Previous classifications have focused on the degree of fibular deficiency rather than the type of foot deformity. Published methods of surgical reconstruction have often failed due to residual or recurrent foot deformity. The purpose of this report is to introduce new classification and reconstruction methods. The Paley SHORDT procedure is used to stabilize the ankle when there is a hypoplastic distal fibula with a dynamic valgus deformity. It involves shortening and realignment of the distal tibia relative to the fibula. In contrast, the Paley SUPERankle procedure is used when there is a fixed equinovalgus foot deformity. The SUPERankle uses a supramalleolar shortening-realignment osteotomy and/or subtalar osteotomies with anlage resection. Due to the bony instead of soft tissue correction of deformity, residual or recurrent deformity is prevented. Weakening of gastro-soleus and peroneal muscles is avoided by shortening of the tibia instead of tendon lengthening. The limitation of ankle motion is related to ankle dysplasia rather than surgery or lengthening. A plantigrade-stable foot and ankle leads to an excellent functional result comparable or better than a Syme's amputation with prosthetic fitting. Serial lengthening procedures combined with the SHORDT or SUPERankle reconstruction lead to limb length equalization with a plantigrade, painless, functional foot.

Keywords: Fibular anlage; Fibular hemimelia; Paley classification; SHORDT; SUPERankle procedure; Subtalar coalition.

Publication types

  • Review