The most common angular deformities affecting children are:
- Genu valgum (knock-kneed): Knock knee is a condition in which the legs curve inward at the knees. When a child stands, the knees appear to bend toward each other and the ankles are spread apart.
- Genu varum (bow-legged): Bowed legs are very common in toddlers. If a child has bowlegs, one or both legs curve outwards. When your child stands there is a distinct space between the lower legs and knees.
Guided growth using 8-plates is a new concept for the management of angular deformities. This technique overcomes the drawbacks of traditional stapling and corrective osteotomies and offers the child improved correction of the deformity. The Eight-plate technique of guided growth is a minimally invasive surgical technique where in a small device called the Eight-plate is used to control angular growth of bones.
The Eight-plate is a specially designed; figure-eight shaped device that gradually and safely corrects the problem as the child grows naturally. It temporarily restrains growth on one side of the growth plate as the growth continues on the opposite side. The Eight-plate uses screws that serve as a hinge to avoid compression of the restrained growth plate.
Guided growth plate surgery takes about an hour and involves the following steps:
- Patient is laid on the operation table and is anesthetized
- Small incision (2-3 cm) is made at the physis of the bone to be corrected
- Through this incision, the eight-plate is placed and fixed to the bone using two small titanium screws
- In case of knock knees, the eight-plate is placed on the medial side (inner side) of the bone and for bowed legs, eight-plate is placed on the lateral side (outer side) of the bone
- The incision is closed usually with resorbable sutures
Children may resume their normal activities within 1 to 3 weeks of the surgery. Gradually, overtime the correction of the deformity takes place over several months to one year. Your child should be seen by the surgeon every 3 months to monitor their growth. Once the deformity is corrected, the eight-plate will be removed.
Eight-plate guided growth technique offers the following benefits:
- Minimally invasive
- Less pain
- Short hospital stay
- No cast required
- No immobilization
- Immediate weight bearing
- Physical therapy not required
We recommend early intervention through guided growth to restore and preserve limb alignment so that your child can enjoy an active and healthy life.