Fibular donor site following non vascularized harvest: clinico-radiological outcome at minimal five year follow-up
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The long-term donor site outcome of non vascularized fibular harvest in paediatric age group is not well studied. We evaluated clinical and radiological characteristics of fibular harvest site in children at a minimum five year follow-up.
The patients with donor legs underwent both physical and radiographic examination. Clinical parameters evaluated were pain, neuromuscular weakness, and standing tibiocalcaneal hindfoot valgus in the donor limb. Radiologically, longitudinal non continuity in regeneration, medullary canal reformation, Malhotra grading, and lateral distal tibial angle (LDTA) were documented.
Sixteen patients (18 legs) were available for follow-up. The average follow-up was 6.23 ± 1.1 years. None of the patients reported pain or neuromuscular weakness related to the donor leg. Five patients reported cosmesis issues related to exaggerated ankle valgus. Medullary canal restoration was seen in 3/14 regenerated fibulae. Harvested legs had overall higher fibular station than contralateral unintervened ankles. Non continuity in regeneration were seen in 4/18 legs. There was clinical hindfoot valgus, abnormal LDTA, and fibular station in these patients. Clinical valgus matched better with a combination of fibular station and LDTA (83.3%) rather than fibular station or LDTA (75%) alone.
Fibular regeneration was complete in more than 75% legs at follow-up of > five years but remodeling and reformation of medullary canal was delayed. Long-term fibular non regeneration was persistently responsible for development of ankle valgus deformity. Middle lower third fibular junction is critical area for non restoration of medullary canal and non continuity.
KeywordsNon vascularized graft Fibula Children Ankle valgus Regeneration
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Research involving human participants and/or animals