Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 2 ( August, 2018 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Cozen's deformity: resolved by guided growth

Matthew Morin, Joshua Klatt, P. M. Stevens

Keywords : Cozen's phenomenon, Tibial valgus, Guided growth

Citation Information : Morin M, Klatt J, Stevens PM. Cozen's deformity: resolved by guided growth. 2018; 13 (2):87-93.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-018-0309-y

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-06-2016

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2018; The Author(s).


Proximal tibial metaphyseal fractures in children can lead to progressive and symptomatic tibial valgus. Corrective osteotomy has been abandoned, due to frequent complications, including recurrent valgus deformity. While spontaneous remodelling has been reported, this is not predictable. For children with persistent deformities, we have resorted to guided growth of the tibia. We present 19 patients who were successfully treated with guided growth, tethering the proximal medial physis. There were ten boys and nine girls, ranging in age from two to 13.6 years at the time of intervention. The mean follow-up from injury was 7.3 years. We documented the intermalleolar distance, mechanical axis deviation (by zone), medial proximal tibial angle (MPTA), and leg length discrepancy. Removal of the plate, or more recently, the metaphyseal screw, was undertaken upon normalization of the mechanical axis. Including the four patients who have undergone repeat tethering for recurrent valgus (one patient—twice), we are effectively reviewing 24 Cozen's phenomena, making this the largest series reported in the literature. Correction of the mechanical axis and the proximal medial tibial angle was achieved in all but one patient. Limb length inequality at follow-up ranged from 0.1 to 1.5 cm, with a mean of 0.5 cm. There have been five recurrences in four patients to date; four corrected with repeat tethering and one is pending. Two patients developed significant over correction because of parental failure to pursue timely follow-up. Both have corrected to neutral with lateral tibial physeal tethering. Ten patients have attained skeletal maturity and required no further treatment. The remaining nine patients will be followed until maturity. Guided growth is an excellent choice for the management of post-traumatic tibial valgus. Our rationale for restricting medial overgrowth is twofold: (1) to restore the MPTA and (2) to reduce the length discrepancy due to tibial overgrowth caused by the fracture. Recognizing the potential for recurrent deformity following implant removal, our standard practice now includes removal of just the metaphyseal screw and subsequent reinsertion, in the event of rebound valgus deformity. Level of evidence Therapeutic IV, retrospective series/no control cohort.

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