Citation Information :
Elsheikh AA, Wright J, Stoddart MT, Goodier D, Calder P. Use of the Pixel Value Ratio Following Intramedullary Limb Lengthening: Uncomplicated Full Weight-bearing at Lower Threshold Values. 2022; 17 (1):14-18.
Aims: The pixel value ratio (PVR) can be used to assess regenerate consolidation after lengthening and guide advice for full weight-bearing (FWB). This study aimed to analyse the PVR in adults having femoral lengthening, the time to FWB and compare findings with the reported values in the literature.
Materials and methods: A retrospective database review identified 100 eligible patients who underwent lengthening using the PRECICE nail (68 antegrade and 32 retrograde). The PVR was calculated in each cortex on plain radiographs at every visit. The ratio between the regenerate and an average from the adjacent normal bone was calculated and plotted against the clinical decision to allow FWB.
Results: Eighty-seven patients (58 men and 29 women) were assessed; eleven had bilateral lengthening and two patients underwent lengthening twice. The median age was 30.5 years. The underlying cause of shortening was post-traumatic in 46%, with the remaining due to a wide variety of causes, including congenital 16%, syndromic 12% and other causes. The median lengthening achieved was 45 mm, at a median of 57.5 days. The PVR increased with each visit (p <0.0001). FWB was allowed at a median of 42 days after the last day of lengthening, with PVR values of 0.83, 0.84, 0.93 and 0.84 for the anterior, posterior, medial and lateral cortex noted, respectively (average 0.85). There were no implant failures, shortening or regenerate fractures. No differences were detected between antegrade and retrograde nails or with lengthening greater or less than 45 mm. One surgeon allowed earlier FWB at median 31 days with no nail failures.
Conclusion: PVR is a valuable tool that quantifies regenerate maturity and provides objectivity in deciding when to allow FWB after intramedullary lengthening with the PRECICE nail. FWB was permitted at an earlier time point, corresponding with lower PVR values than have been reported in the literature and with no mechanical failure or regenerate deformation.
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