Aim: To review our experience with hemi-epiphysiodesis using different methods for the correction of angular deformity about the knee.
Method: This was a retrospective review of 73 patients (101 knees) who underwent hemi-epiphysiodesis from 1999 to 2008. Assessment looked at the type and degree of deformity, implants used, average operating time and hospital stay, complications, degree of correction and the average time to correction.
Results: There were 50 boys and 23 girls with bilateral deformity in 28 cases. There were 88 valgus and 13 varus knees. Average follow-up was 17 months. Staples were used in 28 cases, “8” Plates in 24, Screws in 16 and Drilling in 5 cases. The distal femoral physis was involved in 46 knees, the proximal tibial physis in 21 and both physes in 34 knees (total 135 physes). Average operation time and hospital stay were similar for all methods. There were 6 minor and 3 major complications with staples with an average correction time of 14 months, 3 minor complications with an average correction time of 11 months with “8” plates, 3 minor and 1 major complication with an average correction time of 14 months with screws and 1 minor complication with drilling with an average correction time of 13 months. The outcome was considered as resolved in 47 and pending in 26 cases, with all showing progressive correction of deformity.
Conclusions: Hemi-epiphysiodesis by any method is an effective way to correct angular deformities about the knee in skeletally immature individuals within a reasonable time limit and with minimal morbidity when compared to a corrective osteotomy. Our experience suggests that “8” plates achieve faster correction with the least complications when compared to other methods. Valgus knee deformities corrected faster than varus ones.
Correspondence should be addressed to BSCOS c/o BOA, at the Royal College of Surgeons, 35–43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3PE, England.