Correction of lower limb deformities in children with renal osteodystrophy by the Ilizarov method

Elhanan Bar-On*, Zvi Horesh, Kalman Katz, Daniel Martin Weigl, Tali Becker, Rosana Cleper, Irit Krause, Miriam Davidovits

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND:: Children with renal osteodystrophy (ROD) may develop severe angular deformities of the limbs. Various methods, both medical and surgical, have been described for correction of these deformities, but a literature search showed only 1 child previously treated by the Ilizarov method. The purpose of this study was to characterize the deformities found in our group of patients and to describe our experience in treating these patients with the Ilizarov method. METHODS:: Correction of angular deformity by the Ilizarov method was performed on 8 limb segments in 5 patients with ROD. Mean age was 14.9 years. Two patients were on hemodialysis, and 3 had functioning kidney grafts. Surgery was deferred until stabilization of metabolic parameters. RESULTS:: There was 1 varus and 7 valgus deformities. Preoperative coronal deformity averaged 29 degrees (18-38 degrees). The Ilizarov apparatus was used in all cases.Correction time averaged 23 days (20-28 days). The time from completion of correction to frame removal averaged 71 days (48-113 days). There were no changes in metabolic parameters or frequency of hemodialysis throughout the treatment. Restoration of a normal mechanical axis was achieved in 4 of the 5 patients. One case failed due to intraarticular instability. There were no major complications. Minor complications included pin tract infections, which responded to antibiotic treatment, and premature consolidation in 1 case. Follow-up averaged 6.5 years (1-10 years). The alignment obtained at surgery was maintained in all 4 patients, and they are functional and symptom-free. The patient for whom the surgery failed remains wheelchair-bound. CONCLUSIONS:: The Ilizarov method was found to be safe and effective for correction of malalignment due to ROD. Optimization of metabolic parameters is essential before surgery and throughout correction. The procedure is contraindicated in patients with significant intraarticular knee pathology. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:: Level IV. Retrospective case series.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-751
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Ilizarov
  • Limb deformity
  • Osteotomy
  • Renal osteodystrophy


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