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Scientific Articles   |    
Inferior Subluxation of the Fibular Head Following Tibial Lengthening with a Unilateral External Fixator
Ippokratis Hatzokos, MD1; Androniki Drakou, MD2; Anastasios Christodoulou, MD3; Ioannis Terzidis, MD4; John Pournaras, MD5
1 33 Th. Sofouli Street, 54655, Thessaloniki, Greece. E-mail address: ipphatz@yahoo.gr
2 72 Leof. Iroon Street, 69100, Komotini, Greece. E-mail address: drakou@as-if.com
3 58 John Kennedy Street, Pilea, 55535, Thessaloniki, Greece. E-mail address: jonterz@otenet.gr
4 36 Ermou Street, 54623, Thessaloniki, Greece. E-mail address: jonterz@otenet.gr
5 Exohi, 57010, Thessaloniki, Greece. E-mail address: pournara@auth.gr
View Disclosures and Other Information
The authors did not receive grants or outside funding in support of their research or preparation of this manuscript. They did not receive payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, educational institution, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors are affiliated or associated.
Investigation performed at 1st Orthopaedic Department, Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Incorporated
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2004 Jul 01;86(7):1491-1496
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Abstract

Background: Inferior subluxation of the proximal part of the fibula has been reported to occur with distraction osteogenesis of the tibia; however, the clinical sequelae of this subluxation are unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate inferior subluxation of the proximal part of the fibula and its possible clinical implications in patients who had undergone tibial lengthening by distraction osteogenesis with use of a unilateral external fixator.

Methods: Thirty tibiae in seventeen patients with a variety of conditions underwent tibial lengthening by distraction osteogenesis with use of a unilateral external fixator and were followed clinically and radiographically for a mean of two years and ten months (range, two to four years). Ten patients were female and seven were male. Their mean age at the time of the surgery was seventeen years (range, eight to twenty-five years). The mean tibial lengthening was 8.1 cm (range, 3.5 to 13 cm).

Results: An inferior shift of the fibular head in relation to the tibia was evident in all cases. The shift, which ranged from 0.4 to 3.3 cm, was proportionally related to the amount of tibial lengthening. This type of subluxation is probably attributable to the tension that is exerted by the intact interosseous membrane during the distraction as well as to the tension of the regenerated bone of the fibula and the fact that the fibula itself is not fixed or directly lengthened by the external fixator.

Conclusions: It appears that inferior subluxation of the fibula is a common phenomenon in patients undergoing tibial lengthening by distraction osteogenesis with use of a unilateral external fixator. However, no clinical symptoms or findings related to the inferior subluxation of the fibula were found in our series.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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