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Scientific Articles   |    
Chronic Symptomatic Os Subfibulare in Children
Stephan G. Pill, MD, MSPT1; Michael Hatch, MD2; Julie M. Linton, MD3; Richard S. Davidson, MD4
1 Steadman Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, 200 Patewood Drive, Suite C100, Greenville, SC 29615
2 Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
3 Department of Pediatrics, Greenville Memorial Hospital, 701 Grove Road, Greenville, SC 29605
4 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 34th and Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104. E-mail address: davidsonr@email.chop.edu
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  • Disclosure statement for author(s): PDF

Investigation performed at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania



Disclosure: None of the authors received payments or services, either directly or indirectly (i.e., via his or her institution), from a third party in support of any aspect of this work. One or more of the authors, or his or her institution, has had a financial relationship, in the thirty-six months prior to submission of this work, with an entity in the biomedical arena that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. No author has had any other relationships, or has engaged in any other activities, that could be perceived to influence or have the potential to influence what is written in this work. The complete Disclosures of Potential Conflicts of Interest submitted by authors are always provided with the online version of the article.

Copyright © 2013 by The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2013 Aug 21;95(16):e115 1-6. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.L.00847
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Abstract

Background: 

Some children have persistent pain and instability following inversion injuries of the ankle. Radiographs may reveal a small osseous fragment distal to the lateral malleolus, suggesting an avulsion injury of the anterior talofibular ligament and/or calcaneofibular ligament. The avulsion injury may involve an os subfibulare, causing ligamentous laxity and chronic pain resulting from nonunion. This situation must be differentiated from an asymptomatic os subfibulare, which is a normal anatomic variant in 1% of children. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the intraoperative findings and long-term outcomes of patients treated operatively for symptomatic avulsion injuries or a symptomatic os subfibulare.

Methods: 

Twenty-three patients presented with chronic ankle pain and instability, tenderness anterior and distal to the lateral malleolus, and imaging studies (magnetic resonance imaging and/or stress radiographs) suspicious for avulsion injury of the anterior talofibular ligament and/or calcaneofibular ligament. After unsuccessful nonoperative treatment, all patients underwent excision of the osseous fragments, anatomic reconstruction of the anterior talofibular ligament with use of drill holes through the lateral malleolus, and a modified Broström procedure.

Results: 

The mean age of the patients was 10.4 years (range, eight to thirteen years) at the time of injury and 13.6 years (range, eight to seventeen years) at the time of surgery, representing a mean delay in diagnosis and treatment of 3.2 years. At a mean follow-up of 4.5 years (range, 2.1 to 13.2 years), the mean Foot and Ankle Outcome Score was 91.4 (range, 87 to 98) out of 100, with all but one patient returning to the preinjury recreational level. Only one patient had a long-term complication.

Conclusions: 

In children with chronic pain and instability associated with an os subfibulare, surgical excision of the os subfibulare combined with reconstruction of the anterior talofibular ligament and a modified Broström procedure was effective in restoring ankle stability, eliminating pain, and permitting return to the preinjury functional level.

Level of Evidence: 

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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    References

    Accreditation Statement
    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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