- Distraction Ostegenesis
- Orthopedic Surgery
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Limb lengthening is the art of increasing height while combining aesthetics with perfect function. Modern medicine has allowed the idea of lengthening limbs for medical and cosmetic indications to become a reality.
Limb lengthening is a procedure in which a bone segment is surgically cut and a distraction device is used to slowly pull the two ends apart. After the desired lengthening has been achieved the bone consolidates until the lengthened gap has completely calcified.
Limb Lengthing Candidates
Children and adults can be appropriate candidates for the procedure. Children with congenital deformities such as fibular hemimelia, congenital short femur and hemiatrophy will often have unequal leg length and this may be associated with deformity. Many adults have had this condition since childhood and have developed back pain and hip arthritis from the leg length discrepancy. Growth plate fractures and bone infections in children can cause stunting of growth that results in discrepancy.
Limb Lengthening Surgery Overview
Limb lengthening is distraction ostegenesis, also called callus distraction, a surgical process used for reconstruction of skeletal deformities, and for lengthening bones.
The bone is surgically cut in two segments and the two ends of the bone are gradually moved apart at a slow enough rate for new bone to form in the gap.
This occurs when the desired length has been reached and the bone begins to fully grow and harden. The uniqueness and value of distraction osteogenesis lies in its ability to simultaneously expand both the bone volume and the surrounding soft tissue.
Limb lengthening operations can be performed on both upper (femur), and lower (tibia) legs with internal and external methods.