Orthopedic deformities can be caused by a congenital defect, a fracture that has not healed properly, or disease. The most common types of deformities are limb length discrepancies, bow legs (genu varum) or knock-knees (genu valgum) can now be successfully treated with cosmetic limb lengthening surgery. Orthopedic abnormalities caused by genetic variants like dwarfism can also be treated with this surgery.
Limb deformities can cause pain in the ankles, knees, and hips. When these conditions persist or become more pronounced, medical intervention may be recommended. This wasn’t always the case. Surgical intervention has come a long way over the years and cosmetic limb lengthening surgery can correct these abnormalities.
Growth plate injuries. New bone develops in the growth plates and adds length to the bone. The bone may stop growing if the growth plate is injured or doesn’t develop properly. This may result in limb length discrepancy – one leg being longer than the other.
Limb length discrepancies. Limb length discrepancies can be caused by congenital conditions that affect any of the bones of the legs. It can also be caused by an infection in the bone or joint which can happen during childhood or immediately following birth.
Genu valgum (knock-knee). This condition results in the knees angling in. They may be angled in so far that they touch. Typically, a person with genu valgum or knock knees is unable to touch their feet together while straightening their legs. The cause of knock knees may be from a lack of calcium or vitamin D, or excessive pressure on the knees.
Genu varum (bow legs). Genu varum, or bow legs, is a condition where the legs appear to be bowed out. The knees stay apart even when the ankles are together. An underlying medical condition may be the cause of bow legs.
Cosmetic limb lengthening surgery can safely and gradually straighten legs as well as make the limbs longer.
This surgical procedure uses the body’s own ability to heal in order to make surgical corrections for patients who suffer from orthopedic deformities. The first step is to consult with an orthopedic surgeon who has had experience with this procedure. He or she will evaluate whether you are a good candidate for the procedure. The orthopedic surgeon will discuss the process and the time it will take for you to get back on your feet afterward.
This surgery is done in a hospital setting. Under general anesthesia, your orthopedic surgeon cuts the bone that needs to be straightened or made longer. This procedure is called an osteotomy. The bone is stabilized using an internal device.
The space between the two ends of the bone opens up and separates, creating a space. As the bone is gradually separated, the body creates new soft tissue, blood vessels, nerves, and ligaments, and new bone growth fills in the gap. The process of the body’s ability to rebuild is called osteogenesis.
Adjustments may be made in order to further correct the deformity or lengthen the bone.
Once the bone is straightened or the desired length is reached, the separating is stopped. As the new bone heals, additional weight bearing is encouraged. Individuals learn to walk with crutches and have regular visits with a physical therapist.
Cosmetic limb lengthening surgery is a highly specialized procedure. This surgery has helped many people with congenital or injury-related deformities as well as limb length discrepancies. Cosmetic limb lengthening surgery can also add height to those who are of less than average height. Only an orthopedic specialist is qualified to perform this procedure. As you research the procedure and process, make sure you consult with an orthopedic specialist who will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.