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J Child Orthop. 2011 Feb;5(1):11-7. doi: 10.1007/s11832-010-0310-6. Epub 2010 Dec 8.

Early experience with medial femoral tension band plating in idiopathic genu valgum.



For correction of angular deformity, tension band plating has been proposed as a safe and minimally invasive technique. The purpose of this study was to assess the experiences and report the rate of correction obtained with this procedure in patients with idiopathic genu valgum.


This study was a retrospective review of 47 valgus deformities of the knee treated with medial hemiepiphysiodesis using a tension band plate. The tibiofemoral angle (TFA) and the anatomic lateral distal femoral angle (aLDFA) were assessed on anteroposterior (AP) radiographs of the lower extremity taken at multiple time intervals. The values were charted to determine the change in orientation of the joint surface over time. Pearson's correlation was used to analyze the correction over time. A subanalysis was performed evaluating the effect of age and the number of plates utilized.


A total of 47 deformities in 25 patients were reviewed. The average time of follow-up from index surgery was 12.7 months, with an average correction of 0.96° every 3 months or 3.8° per year. The aLDFA corrected at a faster rate in knees with two plates per hemiepiphysiodesis than those with one plate, 4.2° and 3.3° per year, respectively (P = 0.035). Girls <11 years of age and boys <13 years of age corrected at a rate of 4.5°, while older children corrected at a rate of 3.4° per year (P = 0.39). There were no complications or instrumentation breakages.


Hemiepiphysiodesis with tension band plating provides an effective and predictable correction of idiopathic genu valgum. Two plates appear to provide a greater rate of correction. There is also a trend toward faster correction in younger patients as well.


Genu valgum; Hemiepiphysiodesis; Tension band plate

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