This is a procedure where one or both legs can be lengthened by a predetermined amount. This is normally done to correct a difference in the lengths of the legs due to growth abnormalities, infection or trauma.
Leg lengthening surgery entails breaking the bone that needs to be lengthened, and then gradually stretching the newly formed callus (bone) until the desired length is achieved. The bone lengthening is achieved either with the use of an external fixator device or an implantable lengthening nail device.
Lengthening proceeds at a rate of 1mm per day i.e. it takes about 10 days to achieve 1cm of lengthening. Once this length is achieved, the bone needs to strengthen up sufficiently to function without the fixation device.
Unfortunately, this takes quite long and can be another month to month-and-a-half for every centimetre of lengthening achieved. This is a procedure that is performed regularly in our practice for a variety of indications.