Leg length discrepancy, overgrowth, and associated risk factors after a pediatric tibial shaft fracture

Woo Young Choi, Moon Seok Park, Kyoung Min Lee, Kug Jin Choi, Hyon Soo Jung, Ki Hyuk Sung
2021 Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology  
Background This study was performed to investigate leg length discrepancy (LLD), overgrowth, and associated risk factors after pediatric tibial shaft fractures. Materials and methods This study included 103 patients younger than 14 years of age (mean age 7.1 years; 75 boys, 28 girls) with unilateral tibial shaft fracture and a minimum follow-up of 24 months. LLD was calculated as the difference between the lengths of the injured and uninjured limbs. Overgrowth was calculated by adding the
more » ... by adding the fracture site shortening from the LLD. Risk factors were assessed in patients with LLD < 1 cm and ≥ 1 cm and overgrowth < 1 cm and ≥ 1 cm. Results Casting and titanium elastic nailing (TEN) were performed on 64 and 39 patients, respectively. The mean LLD and overgrowth were 5.6 and 6.4 mm, respectively. There were significant differences in sex (p = 0.018), age (p = 0.041), fibular involvement (p = 0.005), injury mechanism (p = 0.006), and treatment methods (p < 0.001) between patients with LLDs < 1 cm and ≥ 1 cm. There were significant differences in sex (p = 0.029), fibular involvement (p = 0.002), injury mechanism (p = 0.008), and treatment methods (p < 0.001) between patients with overgrowth < 1 cm and ≥ 1 cm. Sex and treatment methods were risk factors associated with LLD ≥ 1 cm and overgrowth ≥ 1 cm following pediatric tibial shaft fracture. The boys had a 7.4-fold higher risk of LLD ≥ 1 cm and 5.4-fold higher risk of overgrowth ≥ 1 cm than the girls. Patients who underwent TEN had a 4.3-fold higher risk of LLD ≥ 1 cm and 4.8-fold higher risk of overgrowth ≥ 1 cm than those treated by casting. Conclusions Patients undergoing TEN showed greater LLD and overgrowth than those undergoing casting, with boys showing greater LLD and overgrowth than girls. Surgeons should consider the possibility of LLD and overgrowth after pediatric tibial shaft fractures, especially when performing TEN for boys. Level of evidence Level III
doi:10.1186/s10195-021-00575-x pmid:33721110 fatcat:rlfwnktopfckblmkxmbnwuqlv4