Growth disturbances without growth arrest after ACL reconstruction in children.
- Sports Medicine Research Laboratory
Growth arrest is a major concern after ACL reconstruction in children. It usually occurs in patients near to closure of the growth plates. Growth disturbances without growth arrest are also possible and more vicious; the authors analyse the mechanism of two patients with growth disturbance due to overgrowth following ACL reconstruction. One was a symmetrical overgrowth process with 15 mm limb length discrepancy treated with percutaneous epiphysiodesis. Full correction at the time of skeletal maturity was achieved. The second patient developed an asymmetrical overgrowth with progressive tibial valgus deformity. This mechanism was similar to a posttraumatic tibial valgus deformity. After nonoperative treatment, a spontaneous correction of the deformity was noticed. Both children were young (7 and 10 years old) at the time of ACL reconstruction with an autologous iliotibial band graft. The clinical relevance of overgrowth disturbance is usually limited when compared to growth arrest but could require a second surgical procedure as reported in this study. Parents must be informed that even in experienced hands, and despite the use of a physeal sparing technique, this specific risk of growth disturbance is still present.