Background: Growth modulation using tension band plates (TBPs) is increasingly important for lower limb deformity correction in patients with skeletal dysplasia (SKD). Development of rebound deformity is a concern after TBP removal. Data regarding this complication are rare; therefore, we evaluated the prevalence and risk factors for rebound deformity in children with SKD undergoing correction of genu valgum using TBP.
Methods: All patients with SKD with genu valgum treated by TBP at the distal femur or/and proximal tibia at a single center were reviewed. Inclusion criteria were: (1) minimum 2-year follow-up after TBP removal or having revision surgery for rebound deformity and (2) implant removal age for girls 14 years and below and boys 16 years and below. Exclusion criteria were any femoral/tibial osteotomies during TBP treatment or follow-up. A change of ≥3 degrees of mechanical lateral distal femoral and/or medial proximal tibial angle was accepted as rebound deformity and analyzed statistically.
Results: Thirty-three patients (59 limbs; 52 femur and 29 tibia physes) met our criteria. Mean follow-up after implant removal was 43.7 months. Rebound deformities were seen in 43 limbs (39 femurs and 13 tibias). Boys had more rebound than girls; however, this was not influenced by body mass index. Femurs had more rebound than tibias. Patients in the rebound group were younger than the nonrebound group. Time from application to removal of TBP was shorter in the rebound versus nonrebound group. Overcorrected limbs had more rebound deformity than not overcorrected. The difference in growth velocity of lower limbs in the rebound versus nonrebound group was statistically significant. Patients with epiphyseal dysplasia had more rebound than metaphyseal dysplasia, but this was not statistically significant.
Conclusion: Risk factors for developing a rebound deformity after correction of genu valgum using TBP in SKD included male sex, TBP surgery at a young age, short duration of TBP implantation, overcorrected extremity (mechanical axis deviation ≤1), and high percent growth velocity after TBP removal.
Level of evidence: Level IV-retrospective study.
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