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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine