Knee Flexion Contractures: Soft Tissue Correction With Monolateral External Fixation


ABSTRACT: We assessed the efficacy of progressive soft tissue distraction using monolateral
external fixation in the management of severe knee flexion contractures. We prospectively evaluated 10 knee deformities in seven pediatric patients. After gradual distraction using the modified Orthofix Limb Reconstruction System (LRS), most recent functional status and knee range of motion were determined. This treatment was applied to 10 extremities in seven patients, ranging in age from 2 to 16 years. Diagnoses included arthrogryposis (4), sickle cell disease (1), previous sepsis (1), and congenital pterygium (1). Average preoperative flexion contracture was 80.5°. Each patient achieved full extension. There was one recurrence, despite bracing, which was managed with replacement of the fixator and soft tissue procedures. Management of knee flexion contractures using a monolateral fixator appears to be a
viable alternative to extensive release or femoral osteotomy. Long-term follow-up will be essential to assess the overall risk of recurrence and complications.

SKU: JSOA-2001-10-1-SU6 Categories: ,

James F. Mooney III, MD, L. Andrew Koman, MD