Rectus muscle pseudo-adherence syndrome

Indian J Ophthalmol. 2023 May;71(5):2084-2088. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2075_22.


Purpose: To describe a clinical entity called "rectus muscle pseudo-adherence syndrome" following buckling surgery.

Methods: A retrospective data review was undertaken to analyze the clinical profile of strabismus patients who had developed it following buckling surgery. Between 2017 and 2021, a total of 14 patients were identified. The demography, surgical details, and intraoperative challenges were reviewed.

Results: The average age of the 14 patients was 21.71 ± 5.23 years. The mean pre-op deviation was 42.35 ± 14.35 prism diopters (PD) of exotropia, and the mean post-op deviation was 8.25 ± 4.88 PD of residual exotropia at 26.16 ± 19.53 months follow-up. Intraoperatively, in the absence of a buckle, the thinned-out rectus adhered to the underlying sclera with much denser adhesions along its margins. When there was a buckle, the rectus muscle adhered to the outer surface of the buckle again, but less densely, with marginal union into the surrounding tenons. In both scenarios, due to the absence of protective muscle coverings, the rectus muscles were naturally adsorbed onto the immediately available surface in the presence of active healing by the tenons.

Conclusion: While correcting ocular deviations following buckling surgery, a false sense of an absent, slipped, or thinned-out rectus muscle is very much possible. This is due to active healing of the muscle with the surrounding sclera or the buckle in a single layer of tenons. This is the rectus muscle pseudo-adherence syndrome, where the culprit is the healing process and not the muscle.

Keywords: Buckling surgery; pseudo-adherence; rectus muscle.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Exotropia* / surgery
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Oculomotor Muscles / surgery
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sclera
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vision, Binocular / physiology
  • Young Adult