Please note that this website is currently being merged into the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website. As such, the content on this site is not guaranteed to be correct. Please visit our new website for the most up to date conent. Thank you.
The Children's Hospital at Westmead
About us Parents Children Professionals Research eShop
search our site
go
feedback     sitemap
  gap for health
  outpatient speciality clinics
  services
kids Rehab
  About Us
    Brain Injury Service
    Cerebral Palsy & Movement Disorders Service
    Rehab/Orthopaedic
    Spina Bifida Service
    Limb Clinic
    Spinal Cord Injury Service
    Other Services
  Resources
  Rehabilitation Research
  Medical Consultant Training
  Parent Info
    Information Sheets
    Fact Sheets
    Parent Advisory Committee
  Other Services & Fundraising
  education
  handbook
  nursing clinical placements
  simulation centre
  GP resources
  pre-employment
  elective admissions
Professionals

Epiphysiodesis (Guided growth Surgery)

Disclaimer: This fact sheet is for education purposes only. Please consult with your doctor or other health professional to make sure this information is right for your child.

The growth plates (physes) are sites where new bone growth is generated. They are located at both ends of a long bone like the femur (thigh bone).

Epiphysiodesis

Definition:

Staples or 8 plates are placed in the growth plates in the femur near the knee to stop the bone from growing temporarily or permanently.

There are two reasons for this procedure:

  1. To make both legs even in length when one leg is longer than the other.
  2. To straighten out the knee.

To help straighten out the knee, 8 plates are placed across front half of the growth plate (hemi-epiphysiodesis). This causes bone to stop growing at the front, but allows bone growth to continue at the back, eventually to allow the knee to become straighter.

To help correct leg length differences, the staples or 8 plates are inserted across the growth plate in the longer limb to stop growth at that particular growth plate.

Once the desired effect has been achieved, the staples or 8 plates are removed and bone growth will resume. This procedure is only effective for children at a specific point in their growth as it relies on the normal development of the bone to help correct deformities. Your orthopaedic surgeon will advise you if this is appropriate for your child.

Weight bearing:

No restrictions

Plasters:

None

Orthoses:

A knee brace is needed for comfort and to help keep the knee straight when resting in bed. It may also be initially worn to assist your child when they first walk after the operation. Your child should continue to wear AFOs if previously prescribed.

Special instructions

Nil

Equipment

Your child may need crutches or a walking frame (if they do not already have one) to assist with their walking initially post surgery. This will be arranged during your child's hospital stay.

The Children's Hospital at Westmead Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Combined Service
The Children's Hospital at Westmead
Cnr Hawkesbury Rd & Hainsworth St, Westmead
Locked Bag 4001, Westmead, 2145
Tel: (02) 9845 0728 - Fax: (02) 9845 3685
http://www.chw.edu.au/prof/services/rehab/rehab_ortho/

© The Children's Hospital at Westmead - 1997-2010

This document was published on Thursday, 11 February 2010.

  copyright    disclaimer    privacy