What is Limb Lengthening?

Limb lengthening is a method to elongate the bones in the arms or legs. This is worked out as a gradual process so that the bones and soft tissues (skin, muscles, nerves, etc.) gradually increase in length. Generally, the process takes several months. Limb lengthening can also be linked with slow or acute deformity correction.

Things you need to know 

  • Angioplasty is performed under the influence of anesthesia.
  • The procedure takes about 2 to 2.5 hours.
  • You will be required to stay in the hospital for about 3 to 4 days, followed by a few more days of rest.
  • Your average length of stay will be around 3 days to a week.

How Treat India you to find the best healthcare facility in India?
Treat India is a leading provider of medical travel administration services in India. We have pioneered outstanding programs that support individual and group health plans to seamlessly provide patients coming from abroad the opportunity of traveling to centers of excellence for various types of medical treatment.

With a curated list of around 101 Hospitals & Clinics and 95 doctors & surgeons, Treat India is your ultimate guide to finding quality treatment in India.

Our team is forever ready to work with you to assess your needs and provide the crucial guidance that will help you take advantage of the unprecedented care options accessible in our chain of super-specialty hospitals. At Treat India, we go all out to make each client’s experience nothing short of magnificent success.

We provide you with access to the top Orthopaedic surgeons specializing in limb lengthening surgery to give you a hassle-free experience and help you make an informed decision, ensuring the right optimization of your time and finances.

Connect with us to know more about your treatment and how we plan your medical journey with our experts.

How to prepare for the treatment?

  • Your healthcare provider will discuss the entire procedure with you.
  • The doctor will analyze your complete medical history by performing a complete physical exam, blood tests, or other diagnostic tests.
  • If you are allergic or sensitive to any medicines such as iodine, latex, tape, or anaesthetic agents, tell the healthcare provider.
  • Also, tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines, supplements that you may be taking.
  • Avoid smoking
  • You will have to arrange for someone to take you back home.

Procedure involved
Generally, the process is as follows:

  • The surgeon will have a team of experts working with him to ensure that your surgery goes as smoothly as possible.
  • You will have to change into a hospital gown.
  • Your heart and blood pressure status will be checked, and a healthcare professional will start an intravenous (IV) line in your arm, and anaesthesia will be given.
  • The first part of the surgery requires an osteotomy in which the leg bone that has to be lengthened is cut. Depending on where the length discrepancy comes from, the upper leg bone, or tibia, your femur, the lower leg bone, may be cut.
  •  Your leg will then be stabilized using metal internal, external, or consolidation of external and internal fixation mechanisms. The lengthening device will be embedded with a bone drill and plates, metal pins, screws, and wires.

What to expect after the treatment?

  • The surgeon will review your restrictions and guidelines for recovery with you.
  • You will have to take prescribed pain medications.
  • You may have to stay in the hospital for two to three days after surgery. Sometimes, the cast is placed for more extended periods of three to four weeks.
  • After your surgery, a physical therapist will assist you in your rehabilitation. You may have to use crutches for six to eight weeks.
  • A few days after the surgery, leg-lengthening will start. This time between the surgery and the onset of leg lengthening is called the latency period, enabling the areas of the bone that was cut to establish a bone callus to secure the bone from any more damage.

You may have to undergo two recovery phases after the surgery- the distraction phase and consolidation phase.

Distraction Phase

  • During the distraction phase, the surgeon will gradually pull apart the leg bone cut by the fixation devices.
  • This will stimulate distraction osteogenesis, enabling the growth of new bone at the site where the bone was cut for the osteotomy.
  • Bone growth continues as the space between the bones is distracted, or built up, by ¼ mm four times a day for a 1 mm increase each day.
  • This process is repeated until the leg bone has reached the desired length. Approximately 1 inch or 2.5 cm of length can be achieved each month.
  • During the distraction phase, you will need a walker or crutches to move around. You won’t be able to put any weight on the operated leg and therefore have to attend physical therapy two to five times a week.

Consolidation Phase

  • The second phase of treatment is the unification or healing phase, during which the new bone formation occurs to harden and heal effectively.
  • You will progressively be able to put more weight on your leg and start walking without crutches. When your pain levels start decreasing, and you have built up sufficient strength in your leg, you can begin standing and walking without assistance.
  • Physical therapy plays a prominent role in supporting correct joint mobility, range of motion, and leg strength. You must regularly go for physical therapy as it can assist in your recovery after leg lengthening surgery.

Potential risks that you need to know about:
Some of the risks associated with limb lengthening surgery are:

  • infection
  • rapid or delayed bone healing
  • muscle and joint stiffness
  • damaged fixator
  • scarring
  • bent or broken bones
  • nerve and blood vessel injuries
  • blood clots
  • swelling
     

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