J Korean Orthop Assoc.  1998 Apr;33(2):335-342.

Growth Changes of Lower Extremities after Pyogenic or Tuberculous Knee Joints in Children


It is well-known that the infection of bone and joints could produce the shortening by destroying the articuiar cartilage and growth plate, or the lengthening hy increased hlood circulation to the epiphyseal and metaphyseal regions of long bone. Since 1985, we have treated total l7 cases of children s pyogenic or tuberculous children s knee with early arthrotomy and continuous irrigation etc. and followed their long hone growth for average 53 months after surgical intervention. Five patients (group I ) were early treated within 2 weeks and twelve patients(group 3 ) were delayed to treat their knees for more than 2 weeks of symptom development. Total 11 patients out of 17 cases(64.7%) (2 cases of group 1 pyogenic arthritis, and 1 case of group l and 8 cases of group II tuberculous arthritis) revealed growth acceleration. Femoral lengthening was much more greater than that of tibial growth, and the size of patella, distal femoral and proximal tibial epiphysis which were measured by computerized digitizer were also significantly larger than that of opposite knee. The total limb length was increased hy average 7mm in 6 months, l4mm in 1 year and 3mm in 2 years after operation. These results suggest the pyogenic and tuberculous arthritis in children s knee should he treated as early as possible after symptoms developed, and followed them to trace their limh inequality for at least 2 years after surgery. That means the early arthrotomy for tuberculous knee or even in pyogenic arthritis can preserve normal articular cartilage and can also prevent the early epiphyseal closure hy infection. and can get the limh lengthening by increased blood circulation around the knee joint.


Growth changes; Lower extremities; Pyogenic arthritis; Tuberculous arthritis

MeSH Terms

Blood Circulation
Cartilage, Articular
Growth Plate
Knee Joint*
Lower Extremity*
Socioeconomic Factors
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