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Limb Lengthening Surgery

Limb Lengthening Surgery

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Liv Hospital Ulus
Prof. MD. Ramazan Erden Ertürer
Orthopedics and Traumatology
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23 February 2023
Article Content
  • What is Limb Lengthening Surgery? How Is It Done?
  • What is Limb Lengthening Surgery?
  • How Is Limb Lengthening Surgery Done?
  • Why Is Limb Lengthening Surgery Done?
  • Limb Lengthening Surgery Process
  • Limb Lengthening Surgery Risks and Complications
  • Limb Lengthening Surgery Costs
  • Frequently Asked Questions About Limb Lengthening Surgery
  • What is Limb Lengthening Surgery? How Is It Done?

    Limb lengthening surgery is a type of aesthetic and reconstructive surgical procedure that can be performed from adolescence onwards. Leg lengthening may be done for purposes such as ensuring proportional appearance of the legs, balancing the patient's gait, and addressing aesthetic concerns. The limb lengthening procedure requires patience and can take a long time. You can find detailed information about limb lengthening surgery in the continuation of the text.

    What is Limb Lengthening Surgery?

    Limb lengthening surgery, among the prominent methods of lengthening, is a type of limb extension surgery. But what is a limb? Limb is the general term used for arms and legs. Limb lengthening surgery is a procedure specifically aimed at making the leg bone longer. Surgeons may work on leg bones called the Femur (thigh bone) or Tibia (shin bone) for leg lengthening surgery. Individuals of very short stature or those with aesthetic concerns may undergo this surgery.

    How Is Limb Lengthening Surgery Done?

    The question of "How is height increased in limb lengthening surgery?" is often wondered. In the surgery, a reconstructive surgeon first performs a surgical osteotomy (bone cutting) on the femur and/or tibia of the leg to be lengthened through small incisions. Then, the incised area is stabilized with a special frame. So how does this frame help in increasing height? With the support of the frame, the leg is gradually stretched, allowing for the formation of new bone between the two cut ends of the bone. Over time, this newly formed bone strengthens until it can support body weight. The answer to the question "How is height increased?" can be found in this surgery. Although sometimes signs of height increase may be observed with this method, it is a long and challenging treatment with risks of complications.

    Why Is Limb Lengthening Surgery Done?

    Those who undergo limb lengthening surgery are not only doing so for aesthetic concerns. The surgery can also be performed to address discrepancies (differences) in arm or leg length. Additionally, it may be preferred in the treatment of disproportions resulting from irregular bone growth patterns or certain conditions leading to shorter bone length. Limb lengthening surgery is a type of limb extension surgery with its risks. In addition to correcting the aesthetic appearance, surgery may also be preferred in the following cases:

    • When there is a benign bone tumor on a growth plate,
    • In cases of cerebral palsy,
    • In congenital femur (thigh bone) deficiency, where one femur is shorter than the other from birth,
    • In hemihypertrophy, a rare condition where one side of the body grows more than the other,
    • In hereditary conditions such as skeletal dysplasia, dwarfism, which hinder bone growth,
    • In growth plate fractures,
    • In osteomyelitis (bone inflammation) disease.

    What Are the Types of Limb Lengthening Surgery?

    When the reviews of those who have undergone limb lengthening surgery are examined, it can be seen that there are many different limb lengthening methods. These methods have their own advantages and disadvantages compared to each other. Some may be more economical for those concerned about the cost of limb lengthening surgery, some may be faster, while others may be safer and provide clearer results. The types of limb lengthening surgery used today can be listed as follows:

    • Holyfix,
    • TSF (Taylor Spatial Frame),
    • LON (Lengthening Over Nail),
    • Precice 2,
    • Precice Stryde,
    • Ilizarov method.

    The Ilizarov method is the first choice for patients desiring limb lengthening for cosmetic reasons, and it is effectively applied.

    What is the Ilizarov Method?

    The Ilizarov method is a type of surgery involving an orthopedic device (external fixator) applied to limbs to reconstruct, reshape, or lengthen bones (usually long bones). External fixation, or external stabilization, is a surgical limb lengthening method where rods are screwed into the affected bone through an incision and protrude from the body to be attached to an external stabilizing structure. The Ilizarov surgery requires the use of a special device called the 'Ilizarov apparatus' or 'Ilizarov fixator.'

    Limb Lengthening Surgery Process