A tale of two tibias: A review of treatment options for congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia

Charles E. Johnston, John G. Birch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: Two common treatment options for congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT) are intramedullary fixation following resection/ shortening of the pseudarthrosis site and reconstruction with an Ilizarov external fixator following resection. We present in detail a narrative of two cases with similar degrees of tibial dysplasia associated with NF-1 treated using these different methods and followed to completion. Methods: Technical issues and details of the treatment methods from case reports are discussed in depth. The eventual profoundly different outcomes are correlated to the technical variations used. Results: Treatment with the Charnley-Williams rodding method and aggressive bone grafting supplemented by rh-BMP2 resulted in a normal functioning limb at maturity, while treatment with first, an ineffective version of IM rodding, followed by two sessions of bone transport using an Ilizarov fixator failed to gain useful union and eventually resulted in amputation. Conclusions: Technical details, heretofore inadequately reviewed in the literature, are crucial to the success of either of these commonly utilized treatment methods for CPT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-149
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Children's Orthopaedics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008



  • Bone transport with Ilizarov fixator
  • Charnley-Williams intramedullary rodding
  • Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia
  • rhBMP2 treatment for CPT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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