Congenital Short Femurs

A. E. KRITTER, MD*Waukesha, Wisconsin


The literature on congenital short femurs was reviewed, particularly the variance of growth inhibition present in congenitally short femurs. A congenitally short femur is a short femur with or without coxa vara, namely lateral bowing. The patterns of growth were outlined. If patients reached a 6-cm discrepancy they continued to have a type I slope as described by Shapiro. One case of congenital short femur was shown with 15 cm of shortening. A Syme's amputation was performed for a child with paraxial fibular hemimelia; he had an excellent functional result but a poor cosmetic result with knee levels unequal by approximately 15 cm. Successful treatment of this limb discrepancy depends on accurate assessment of the limb lengths over a period of time, knowledge of the cosmetic and functional deficits anticipated and a proper perspective of treatment modalities, such as epiphysiodesis, shortening and lengthening.

*223 Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha, WI 53186