Legs with unequal length requires fast treatment. The abnormalities in leg include shorter leg length, longer leg length, and limited leg growth. Limb lengthening is a treatment procedure for shorten legs. This method aims to add length to abnormally shorter leg. They may occur as a result of congenital defect, fracture or disease. Pain or swelling is usually not experienced. However, the abnormal appearance of legs is almost noticeable.
Surgery is the method opted for limb lengthening. The person to be operated is kept under general anesthesia. A tiny cut is then made at the affected site. The surgical tools are then inserted through the cut. Using these tools, the bone to be lengthened is cut. Through the skin, metal implants such as pins or screws are placed above and below the bone cut. The implant is attached to a metal device. This device is used gradually to pull apart the cut bone. This procedure goes on for several months. As a result space is created between the ends of cut bone. New bone from any other body part or donor is used to fill the empty space. Another surgery is done to remove pins when the legs attain desired length.
After surgery, the patient is recommended to stay in hospital for a minimum of 1 week. Proper medications and physical therapies are instructed by the doctor. The medications help to relieve pain and swelling. To maintain range of motion of the operated area, physical therapies are useful. The pins should be properly cared to avoid chances of infection. The time for healing depends on type of limp lengthening. About 3-4 months are required for full recovery. The risks included in surgery are restricted bone growth, poor healing, blood-vessel damage, infection and reaction to anesthesia.