Orthopaedic Management of Leg-length Discrepancy in Proteus Syndrome: A Case Series

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics








child; epiphyseal arrest; growth inhibition; leg-length inequality; Proteus syndrome


© 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved. Introduction: Proteus syndrome (PS) is a rare mosaic disorder comprising asymmetric bony and soft tissue overgrowth leading to significant morbidity. Placement of growth inhibition hardware with subsequent epiphyseal arrest improves leg-length and angular deformities in pediatric patients without PS. The purpose of this study was to review the surgical approach and present outcomes, complications, and recommendations in 8 patients with PS and leg-length discrepancy (LLD). Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of 8 patients with PS whose primary reason for surgery was LLD. Patients were eligible if they met clinical diagnostic criteria for PS and if the National Institutes of Health team performed at least 1 of their surgical interventions between 2005 and 2015. Surgical techniques included growth inhibition, with tension band plates, applied ≥1 times, and epiphyseal arrest. Results: Eight patients, followed for an average of 4.6 years (range, 1.0 to 7.1 y) after the index procedure, were included in this analysis. Average age at first LLD surgery was 9.4 years (range, 6.1 to 13.6 y); the average LLD was 3.4 cm (range, 0.4 to 7.0 cm) at presentation, and 5.0 cm (range, 1.8 to 10.0 cm) at the time of the first LLD surgery. Participants underwent 23 total surgeries (range, 1 to 5 per patient) and 7 patients have completed surgical intervention. For the 7 patients who did not require overcorrection the average LLD at the last clinical encounter was 2.6 cm (range, 0.6 to 7.2 cm). We encountered 2 complications: 2 patients developed mild knee valgus, which responded to standard guided growth techniques. Conclusions: This case series suggests that growth inhibition and epiphyseal arrest in children with PS can reduce LLD with few complications. Careful monitoring, rapid mobilization, deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis, and sequential compression devices were also integral elements of our surgical protocol. Level of Evidence: Level IV.

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