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Children's Orthopaedics

Does eight-plate epiphysiodesis of the proximal tibia in treating angular deformity create intra-articular deformity?

a retrospective radiological analysis

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Eight-plates are used to correct varus-valgus deformity (VVD) or limb-length discrepancy (LLD) in children and adolescents. It was reported that these implants might create a bony deformity within the knee joint by change of the roof angle (RA) after epiphysiodesis of the proximal tibia following a radiological assessment limited to anteroposterior (AP) radiographs. The aim of this study was to analyze the RA, complemented with lateral knee radiographs, with focus on the tibial slope (TS) and the degree of deformity correction.


A retrospective, single-centre study was conducted. The treatment group (n = 64 knees in 44 patients) was subclassified according to the implant location in two groups: 1) medial hemiepiphysiodesis; and 2) lateral hemiepiphysiodesis. A third control group consisted of 25 untreated knees. The limb axes and RA were measured on long standing AP leg radiographs. Lateral radiographs of 40 knees were available for TS analysis. The mean age of the patients was 10.6 years (4 to 15) in the treatment group and 8.4 years (4 to 14) in the control group. Implants were removed after a mean 1.2 years (0.5 to 3).


No significant differences in RA (p = 0.174) and TS (p = 0.787) were observed. The limb axes were significantly corrected in patients with VVD (p < 0.001). The change in tibial slope (∆TS) did not correlate (r = -0.026; p = 0.885) to the plate’s position on the physis when assessed by lateral radiographs.


We were not able to confirm the reported change in the bony morphology of the proximal tibia on AP radiographs in our patient population. In addition, no significant change in TS was detected on the lateral radiographs. A significant correction of the VVD in the lower limb axes was evident. Position of the implant did not correlate with TS change. Therefore, eight-plate epiphysiodesis is a safe and effective procedure for correcting VVD in children without disturbing the knee joint morphology.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2020;102-B(10):1412–1418.

Correspondence should be sent to Alexander S. Spiro. E-mail:

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