Limb Lengthening

Methods for limb lengthening are used to extend length of the bones or to increase the height of the bones. This will be done by people who have short limbs which are not proportioned and surgery like osteogenesis or growth stimulants are used to correct it. The natural growth in its active form ends in human by the age of 20 and results in shorter limbs when compared to the other body parts in rare cases. The bone length of the lower extremity can be increased with the help of various devices that are constructive in nature.

Surgical methods for bone lengthening can be grouped into 3 main categories:

  • External methods
  • Internal methods or intraosseal methods
  • Combined (mixed) methods.

External method

In this external constructions are used outside body. Bone fixation is done with spokes that does run through leg segment and ends fixed in external device. There methods commonly use devices like Volkov Oganesyan, Gudushauri and Ilizarov devices.

Internal method

Intraosseous device finishes fixation and distraction functions without any external constructions. In this, the soft tissues like the muscles, fascia and skin remain intact and will have no contact with the device used for lengthening. The methods include the use of ISKD devices and methods like Bliskunov device, Albizzia Method, Guichet Method and Fitbone device.

Combined method

An external device is used during protraction period and after lengthening is done, the external device is removed and implementation of a rod is done into bone. This provides fixation which is more stable than the fixation that is done externally. External fixations may lead to discomfort in patient, infections and negative conditions for the muscles and bones. So to lessen the external or open fixation time, combine methods are used. An intraosseous rod is used after removing the external device.