Limb Lengthening Surgery: A surgical procedure that involves the use of external fixators to slowly stretch and lengthen bones in the legs or arms.

If illness or injury damages the growth plate, the bone may grow at a faster or slower rate compared to the bone on the opposite side.
The external device, named an external fixator, is really a group of metal rings that encircle the surface of the limb.
The patient manually adjusts the struts to lengthen by in regards to a millimeter every day.
This is achieved by an activity called distraction osteogenesis.
This process takes benefit of the method where a broken bone heals.
New bone fills in the gap, developing a solid and stable bone.

  • The external devices are attached to the bone with wires or threaded pins.
  • For the first few days after the operation, your son or daughter will be in a healthcare facility and their pain will undoubtedly be managed by pain experts.
  • The individual gradually puts more excess weight on the affected limb, and starts walking without any assistance.
  • The second stage typically begins after their limb has already established a week to 10 days of rest.

Depending on device being used, you could have to curb your weightbearing and use crutches or perhaps a walker.
Bone lengthening begins a couple of days or weeks after the surgery.

Because the medical procedure requires time and frequent adjustments, not all patients who want the surgery are good candidates.
While doctors can do the surgery on those of all ages, it’s typically performed on young people.
The bone is then gradually lengthened at home and corrected over time utilizing an external fixator or an internal lengthening device.
Your child’s surgeon will work closely with you and the care team to generate the best treatment plan to help your child reach their goals, and to fit the bill as a family.
According to experiences and scientific studies, average 1 mm each day is the optimum rate for leg lengthening.

Recovery After Limb Lengthening Surgery

Some patients could also heal in a way where the bones are not straight.
A doctor will usually only recommend limb-lengthening surgery for both limbs in cases of dwarfism, specifically due to achondroplasia, a genetic form where one leg may be slightly turned.
During the first few days after attachment, expect clear yellow or slightly bloody drainage from the pin sites.
To eliminate this drainage, soak a cotton swab in normal saline.
Rub the cotton swab on the pin site and move outward, using a circular motion.

This requires a trip back to the operating room, typically as an outpatient procedure, this means the patient will not stay in a healthcare facility overnight.
Through the lengthening phase, patients are mobile, walking with crutches.
Exercises to keep joint mobility and muscle strength are done daily.

After The Surgery

Bone healing is evaluated with X-rays that are obtained monthly.
Motorized nails will be the preferred, less invasive and up-to-date technologies.There is absolutely no fixator outside, only an intramedullary nail is implanted in to the bone.
Therefore, the individual feels more comfortable and free to move.
The risks of complications of internal method are less than the others.

  • device.
  • Generally, patients take 6-9 months from the time of surgery to full recovery.
  • If any of the pin sites become painful, swollen or red, or in the event that you notice an unusual level of discharge, try cleaning the affected area more often and contact your child’s doctor for advice.
  • In skeletally immature patients, it is possible to treat differences in leg length by growth arrest.

Your child’s surgeon, nurses and physical therapists will plan an individual program of care with you, and the therapy will undoubtedly be adjusted as your son or daughter progresses through treatment.
The procedure begins by carefully cutting the bone during surgery.
The bone that has been cut could be gradually distracted as time passes, that leads to new bone formation at the site of the lengthening or correcting.
The specific procedure usually requires just several days at the hospital.
There are two types of devices available such as external fixators and internal fixators.
The external devices are mounted on the bone with wires or threaded pins.
The internal devices are placed in the body, on the bone or inside the bone marrow.

Your child’s doctor may ask you to adjust the rate of lengthening as a result of the X-rays.
During physical therapy, your son or daughter will continue to work on strengthening and stretches.
Your physical therapist provides an exercise program designed

Your doctor will want to see you every 7-14 days in this phase to make sure that the regenerated bone, muscles, and nerves are responding well to lengthening.
Leg lengthening will start between a couple of days to a week after the surgery.
Leg length discrepancies could cause back, hip, knee, ankle, and foot pain, and will accelerate degeneration of the joints of the leg due to irregular bone alignment and deterioration.

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