How far can a medial rectus safely be recessed?

Burton Kushner // Publications // May 01 1994

PubMed ID: 7931946

Author(s): Kushner BJ, Fisher MR, Lucchese NJ, Morton GV. How far can a medial rectus safely be recessed? J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. 1994 May-Jun;31(3):138-46; discussion 151-2.

Journal: Journal Of Pediatric Ophthalmology And Strabismus, Volume 31, Issue 3,

Previous studies have suggested that the location of the equator should be important in determining the site of a “safe maximum recession” of a rectus muscle, and that the location of the equator should be a function of axial length. Exactly where in relationship to the equator a muscle can be safely recessed has never been scientifically determined. Over a 4-year period, we measured axial length on all patients we operated on for strabismus. Using a previously derived formula, we were able to calculate the limbus-to-equator distance, given axial length. Based on our analysis of 28 patients in whom we recessed one or both medial recti posterior to the equator, we believe that recessions of the medial recti up to 1.5 mm posterior to the equator should not produce postoperative medial rectus underaction associated with an overcorrection, but recessions that are further than 1.5 mm posterior to the equator may do so. Recessions to a point greater than 11 mm from the limbus do not appear to be associated with late progressive overcorrection provided that the site of recession is not greater than 1.5 mm posterior to the equator. Using our previously determined formula for estimating the location of the equator, given axial length, we have generated easy-to-use reference tables for determining the location of the equator in terms of millimeters posterior to the limbus. Also, based on axial length data from 180 strabismus patients, we have generated an algorithm for predicting axial length, given age, and refractive error, which may be useful to the strabismus surgeon in predicting the location of the equator when A-scan ultrasonography is not available.