Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research ®

A Publication of The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons ®

Managing Flexion Knee Deformity Using a Circular Frame

Gamal Ahmed Hosny MD, Mohamed Fadel MD

Knee flexion deformity can cause marked physical disability. Acute correction, whether nonoperative or operative, may lead to serious complications. We treated 50 patients (71 knees) between 1994 and 2002 with the Ilizarov external fixator. The deformity was gradually corrected using Ilizarov principles. Of the 50 patients, 29 were affected unilaterally and 21 bilaterally. In 15 patients, there were associated deformities. In no patient did we surgically release soft tissues; in two patients with arthrodesed or congenitally fused knees, we performed osteotomy before distraction. All patients were assessed clinically and radiographically. We assessed knee flexion angle, range of motion, stability, presence of pain, and healing index. After a minimum followup of 1 year (mean 3.7 years; range, 1–8 years), 18 of 20 of the preoperatively nonambulatory patients having bilateral surgery could walk at last followup. Complications included pin tract infection in all patients, knee subluxation in three patients, and fracture related to treatment in seven patients. We believe gradual correction using a circular frame an effective method to treat flexion knee contractures. In patients with bilateral deformities, improvement in functional activity may be expected in most patients.,[object Object]