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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2017

How to avoid unintended valgus alignment in distal femoral derotational osteotomy for treatment of femoral torsional malalignment - a concept study

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2017
Florian B. Imhoff, Bastian Scheiderer, Philip Zakko, Elifho Obopilwe, Franz Liska, Andreas B. Imhoff, Augustus D. Mazzocca, Robert A. Arciero, Knut Beitzel



Defining the optimal cutting plane for derotational osteotomy at the distal femur for correction of torsion in cases of patellofemoral instability is still challenging. This preliminary study investigates changes of frontal alignment by a simplified trigonometrical model and demonstrates a surgical guidance technique with the use of femur cadavers. The hypothesis was that regardless of midshaft bowing, a cutting plane perpendicular to the virtual anatomic shaft axis avoids unintended valgus malalignment due to derotation.


A novel mathematical model, called the Pillar-Crane-Model, was developed to forecast changes on frontal alignment of the femur when a perpendicular cutting plane to the virtual anatomical shaft was chosen. As proof of concept, eight different torsion angles were assessed on two human cadaver femora (left and right). A single cut distal femoral osteotomy perpendicular to the virtual anatomical shaft was performed. Frontal plane alignment (mLDFA, aLDFA, AMA) was radiographically analyzed before and after rotation by 0°, 10°, 20°, and 30°. Measurements were compared to the model.


The trigonometrical equation from the Pillar-Crane-Model provides mathematical proof that slight changes into varus occur, seen by an increase in AMA and mLDFA, when the cutting plane is perpendicular to the virtual anatomical shaft axis. A table with standardized values is provided. Exemplarily, the specimens showed a mean increase of AMA from 4.8° to 6.3° and mLDFA from 85.2° to 86.7 after derotation by 30°. Throughout the derotation procedure, aLDFA remained at 80.4° ± 0.4°SD.


With the use of this model for surgical guidance and anatomic reference, unintended valgus changes on frontal malalignment can be avoided. When the cutting plane is considered to be perpendicular to the virtual anatomical shaft from a frontal and lateral view, a slight increase of mLDFA results when a derotational osteotomy of the distal femur is performed.
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