Outcomes of Patellar Tendon Imbrication With Distal Femoral Extension Osteotomy for Treatment of Crouch Gait

Lauren C. Hyer, Ashley M. Carpenter, Prabhav Saraswat, Jon R. Davids, David E. Westberry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Crouch gait is a frequent gait abnormality observed in children with cerebral palsy. Distal femoral extension osteotomy (DFEO) with the tightening of the extensor mechanism is a common treatment strategy to address the pathologic knee flexion contracture and patella alta. The goal of this study was to review the results of a patellar tendon imbrication (PTI) strategy to address quadriceps insufficiency in the setting of children undergoing DFEO. METHODS: After institutional review board approval, all patients with crouch gait treated at a single institution with DFEO and PTI were identified. Clinical, radiographic, and instrumented gait analysis data were analyzed preoperatively and at 1 year following surgery. RESULTS: Twenty-eight patients (54 extremities) with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and crouch gait were included. Significant improvements were appreciated in the degree of knee flexion contracture, quadriceps strength, knee extensor lag, and popliteal angle (P<0.01). Knee flexion at initial contact and during mid-stance improved significantly (P<0.0001), and knee moments in late stance were significantly reduced (P<0.01). The anterior pelvic tilt, however, significantly increased postoperatively (P<0.0001). Radiographic improvements were seen in the knee flexion angle and patellar station as assessed by the Koshino Sugimoto Index (P<0.0001). Four patients (14.2%) developed a recurrence of knee flexion contracture requiring further intervention. CONCLUSIONS: PTI is a simplified and safe technique to address quadriceps insufficiency when performing DFEO. The short-term results of patients who underwent DFEO with PTI demonstrated improvements in clinical, radiographic, and gait analysis variables of the knee. Investigating long-term outcomes, comparing techniques, and assessing quality of life measures are important next steps in research. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV-case series.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e356-e366
JournalJournal of pediatric orthopedics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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