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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 161-164

Amputate or not amputate? A fibular hemimelia case report

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Hospital de Braga, Braga, Portugal

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ana Rita Raposo
Freguesia de São Victor, Sete Fontes, Braga
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijprm.JISPRM-000172

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Fibular hemimelia is the most frequent congenital defect of the long bones. It has a wide spectrum of clinical and radiological presentations ranging from minor hypoplasia to complete absence of the fibula. Treatment options range between orthotic support, limb reconstruction, and amputation. In the current article, we present a complex clinical case of a young patient with fibular hemimelia. The patient presented a dysmetria of the lower limbs of 21 cm, also an equinovalgus foot position, and several malformations of the foot and toes. She walked with adapted orthosis and crutches, which was proved difficult for her, and esthetically undesirable. Due to the impairment on her quality of life, she was referred initially to bone-lengthening surgery. However, this surgery did not obtain satisfactory results, in both esthetic and functional levels. Hence, the patient was referred to amputation, with a better outcome after. In this clinical case, and reviewing the current literature, we aim to reflect on the implications of the different surgical options in the treatment of fibular hemimelia, and the role of physical medicine and rehabilitation in the functional recovery of these patients. We invite readers to reflect on some questions: Is amputation the best treatment in cases of serious fibular hemimelia? Should a bone-lengthening procedure be attempted before amputation? Should the amputation be delayed? To amputate or not to amputate?

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