In what the authors term a first in kind study, researchers from Loyola University Medical Center report that total knee replacement procedures can effectively treat the degeneration caused by the bone deformity known as Blount disease. In addition to restoring joint stability and range of motion, knee arthroplasty effectively obviated the need for pain medications in patients with the condition. The study appears in the Journal of Arthroplasty. Blount disease is a disorder of the tibia affecting normal development of the inner part of the bone below the knee. It occurs in young children and adolescents, more commonly among African Americans. Blount disease can be treated with braces or surgery to correct the inward turning of the lower leg, and place the shin bone in the proper position.
In the study, researchers examined the records of 5 patients with Blount disease, 3 of whom underwent double knee replacement and the remaining 2 single arthroplasty. While acknowledging the small size of the study and need for longer-term followup, the authors contend that their findings provide support for total knee arthroplasty as a treatment modality for this patient population. Read a news story about the study findings here. The journal article abstract may be read here.