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Tibial dysplasia. A study of the anatomy

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Three amputated legs with tibial dysplasia were studied by radiography, arteriography and anatomical dissection. The radiographic appearances were the same as the Type 1b tibial dysplasia described by Jones, Barnes and Lloyd-Roberts (1978) in that the tibiae were absent but the lower femoral epiphyses were normal. However, our anatomical findings differed from those of Jones et al. since no bony or cartilaginous anlage of the proximal tibia was found in any of the three legs. The pattern of vascular anomaly was identical in the three legs and similar to the findings of Hootnick et al. (1980) in congenital short fibula. Congenital fusion of the subtalar joint was a constant finding. These results support the hypothesis that the arterial and skeletal systems are vulnerable to a teratogenic insult in the fifth week of embryonic life. The bony and arterial anomalies should be borne in mind by the surgeon attempting reconstructive surgery for this condition.

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