Deformity progression in congenital posteromedial bowing of the tibia: a report of 44 cases

Giovanni Luigi Di Gennaro, Giovanni Gallone, Edgar Alejandro Martinez Vazquez, Leonardo Marchesini Reggiani, Costantina Racano, Eleonora Olivotto, Stefano Stilli, Giovanni Trisolino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: congenital posteromedial bowing of tibia (CPMBT) is a very rare birth defect, characterized by shortened bowed leg and ankle deformity. We described a single institution experience in the management of CPMBT.

METHODS: we identified 44 CPMBT in 44 children. The age at presentation was 5.5 ± 5.6 years and the mean age at the final review was 10.1 ± 4.8 years. Radiographic evaluation included the antero-posterior and lateral inter-physeal angle (AP-IPA and L-IPA), the limb length discrepancy (LLD), the morphology of the distal tibia and the lateral distal tibial angle (LDTA). During the study period, 26 children underwent surgical treatment.

RESULTS: the estimated curves showed a progressive spontaneous correction of both AP-IPA and L-IPA during growth, but a progressive increase of the LLD. The L-IPA showed a more predictable behaviour while the AP-IPA showed a scattered correction, with a wider variation of the estimated final angle. The final LDTA was 85.3° ± 4.2° and was correlated with the L-IPA (r = 0.5; p = 0.02). Among the 26 children who underwent surgical treatment, 23 cases had limb lengthening, 1 case had contralateral epiphysiodesis, 1 child underwent tibial osteotomy, 1 patient was treated by hemiepiphysiodesis of the distal tibia to correct ankle valgus deformity.

CONCLUSIONS: our study described the largest case series of CPMBT. A combination of surgical treatments, in a staged surgical process, should be tailored to the developmental characteristics of this abnormality. An experience-based algorithm of treatment is also proposed. Further studies are needed to understand which is the best strategy to correct this deformity during childhood.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: level IV prognostic study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 3 2020


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