Published online Apr 18, 2020. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v11.i4.222
Peer-review started: December 10, 2019
First decision: February 20, 2020
Revised: February 21, 2020
Accepted: March 12, 2020
Article in press: March 12, 2020
Published online: April 18, 2020
Orthopedic surgery in children with cerebral palsy (CP) aims to improve function and prevent deformities. Each child’s condition in CP is unique and many co-variables influence surgical decision-making including a patient's age and their functional level. Little is known about the frequency of different types of orthopedic surgery in children with CP who have varied functional levels, particularly in countries from Latin America.
To assess the type of orthopedic surgical procedures in relation to age and gross motor function in children with CP.
This retrospective study included all children with CP (n = 245) treated with elective orthopedic surgery at a Uruguayan university hospital between October 2010 and May 2016 identified from a surgical database. Eighteen children (7%) were lost to follow-up due to missing medical charts. Demographics, gross motor function classification (GMFCS), and orthopedic surgeries were obtained from the medical records of 227 children. Chi-squared tests and analysis of variance were used to assess the frequency of surgery, accounting for GMFCS levels. Mean age for soft tissue vs bone surgery was compared with the independent samples t-test.
A total of 711 surgical procedures were performed between 1998 and 2016. On average, children had 3.1 surgical procedures and the mean age at first surgery was 8.0 years. There were no significant differences in age at first surgery among GMFCS levels (P = 0.47). The most common procedures were lower leg soft tissue surgery (n = 189, 27%), hip tenotomy (n = 135, 19%), and hamstring tenotomy (n = 104, 14%). For children with GMFCS level I, the mean number of surgeries per child [1.8 (range 1-9)] differed significantly at P < 0.05 in children with GMFCS levels II [3.2 (1-12)], III [3.2 (1-8)], IV [3.3 (1-13)], and V [3.6 (1-11)]. Within II, III, IV, and V, there was no significant difference in mean number of surgeries per child when comparing across the groups. The proportion of soft tissue surgery vs bone surgery was higher in GMFCS levels I-III (80%-85%) compared to levels IV (68%) and V (55%) (P < 0.05).
The frequency of surgical procedures per child did not increase with higher GMFCS level after level I. However, the proportion of bone surgery was higher in GMFCS levels IV-V compared to I-III.
Core tip: Little is known about the frequency of different types of orthopedic surgery in children with cerebral palsy, particularly in Latin America, as most studies related to orthopedic surgery are retrospective case series describing a specific surgery. This paper illustrated that among Uruguayan children with cerebral palsy, the number of corrective surgeries performed did not differ by functional motor ability (gross motor function classification levels) after level I, but the types of surgeries did differ by gross motor function classification levels. The proportion of soft tissue surgery vs bone surgery was higher in ambulatory children compared to non-ambulatory children.