What is Limb Lengthening Surgery?

Limb lengthening surgery, with more known name leg lengthening surgery is a long-termed and hard surgery as well, involving a 6-12 months treatment process.

In limb lengthening surgery of which the first stage is completed under general anesthesia by Orthopedics and Traumatology Doctors, the bone to be lengthened is cut first and an "External Fixator Device" is inserted around the opened bones.

By the help of the External Fixator Device, bone is opened 1 mm daily and a cavity in the bone is provided. Bone cavity opened is filled with bone tissue slowly and new bone formation occurs. External Fixator Device is removed with a small operation after bone hardening.

What is the Price of Limb Lengthening Surgery?

Limb Lengthening Surgery is planned exclusive to individuals. Many details such as the technique to be applied, the process of treatment, hospitalization, the doctor selected, the city and district where the operation will be performed are the factors affecting the Limb Lengthening Surgery price. 

How is Limb Lengthening Surgery Operated?

In cases of dwarfism, the target length is 1.50 cm for females and 1.60 cm for males in limb lengthening surgery. In the case of limb lengthening surgery for aesthetic purposes, the target length is determined according to the request of the person.

Limb Lengthening Surgery is planned exclusive to individuals. The expectation of the person, joint motion gap, the condition of the muscles and the capacity of the bone are considered to be important in this planning.

Limb Lengthening Surgery is operated through 3 methods: Intra-bone, extra-bone and combined system...

The intra-bone method is preferred in aesthetic Limb Lengthening Surgery; while health-based lengthening operations such as dwarfism are performed by the extra-bone method. Ideally accepted Limb Lengthening Surgery method is the one performed both with intra-bone and external-bone interventions, called combined method and surgeries of which the recovery process is more comfortable and faster.

Limb Lengthening Surgeries are operations that last 1-1.5 hours under general anesthesia. Postoperative treatment duration varies depending on the target length and daily rate of lengthening. The expected daily lengthening rate of Limb Lengthening Surgery is 1 mm. This target millimeter can be reduced or increased depending on the quality of bone formation. If an average of 1 mm lengthening per day is assumed, the time to reach a person's target cm is planned based on this target value. In other words, if the person targets for a lengthening of 5 cm, then the treatment process should be planned at least 50 days.
           1. Extra-Bone Limb Lengthening Surgery:

In Extra-Bone Limb Lengthening Surgery, bone is bonded to the "External Fixator Device" applied externally. Bone cracking procedure follows this process step.

Surgery is operated under general anesthesia and rarely under local anesthesia.

In Extra-Bone Limb Lengthening Surgery, both legs can be subjected to a lengthening procedure at the same time, so that the treatment process is completed in a shorter time compared to the intra-bone limb lengthening surgery, since both legs will be stretched at the same time.

If Extra-Bone Limb Lengthening Surgery is to be applied for a single leg, duration of hospital stay will be 3-4 days and will be 4-7 days for both legs. Lengthening process starts during hospitalization, then, the duration of treatment is calculated as per the predicted lengthening.

After the lengthening process is completed, the strengthening of the bone lengthened (consolidation) and then the removal of the system procedures are performed respectively. The total treatment duration is completed in the range of 6-12 months.

          2. Intra-Bone Limb Lengthening Surgery:

In Intra-Bone Limb Lengthening Surgery, the bone is cut from the inside and an intramedullary nail is inserted into the bone, in the second step, the bone attached with nail is attached to the External Fixator Device. Surgery is operated under general anesthesia.

The person is discharged after 5 days of hospitalization. Lengthening period and rehabilitation time varies according to the lengthening (5 cm. - 50 days). Then, the consolidation period begins, which is an average of 3 months (the period for the new bone formed to be strong after the lengthening is over is called "Consolidation").

In Intra-Bone Limb Lengthening Surgery, lengthening of one leg is completed first, then the other leg is operated.

           3. Intra-Extra Bone Combined System Limb Lengthening Surgery:

In Intra-Extra Bone Combined System Limb Lengthening Surgery, lengthening systems are placed both inside and outside the bone. When the lengthening process is over, the system outside extra-bone system is removed but intra-bone system is not, the person can complete the other stages of the lengthening process with the nail system inside the bone.

That is, rehabilitation, consolidation period is maintained by intra-bone system.

The nails used do not need to be removed; however, a second operation can be planned to remove the nails, in case of request. Combined System Limb Lengthening Surgery allows faster return to daily life compared to other limb lengthening surgeries, and the duration of application is shorter than in single applications.

Treatment and Recovery Process after Limb Lengthening Surgery

Limb Lengthening Surgery consists of 6 processes in total;

  • Inspection and examination

  • Surgery

  • Hospitalization

  • Lengthening process

  • Strengthening of the bone lengthened (consolidation)

  • Removal of the system

Since the period involving the lengthening after the Limb Lengthening Surgery covers 4/6 of this period, a toilsome and tough treatment and healing process await the patients.

After the surgery, the physician planned physical therapy and exercises should be done correctly and should not be disturbed so as this is important for both postoperative pain relief and healthy development. Sports and exercises prevent the loss of muscle loss while supporting the period of healthy lengthening.

The lengthening process starts as of the 5th and 7th days after the limb lengthening surgery. 1-mm device setting is required each day, ground on 1 mm lengthening per day.

Routine checks are performed at the 1st, 2nd and 3rd weeks with the start of the lengthening process. Bone lengthening is checked in these controls. After reaching the target lengthening rate, "consolidation" period begins. This period is the process for the new bone formed to strengthen after the lengthening is over. It lasts an average of 3 months.

Finally, the treatment and healing process is completed by removing the systems inside and outside the leg.

Is Limb Lengthening Surgery Right For Me?

Lower age limit for Limb Lengthening Surgery is set as 3 years of age. For children who are below than the percentile value in the age group and who cannot catch their peers in height, Limb Lengthening surgery can be planned from the age of 3 years.

Although there is no upper age limit for Limb Lengthening Surgery, the age range of 40 years and older is not recommended for Limb Lengthening Surgery since the quality of bone development has decreased.

Anybody who thinks that his/her height is short or has been approved in medical terms with short stature in doctor's report, any man and woman in the appropriate age range are suitable candidates for Limb Lengthening Surgery.

It is important that the people who are planned for Limb Lengthening Surgery should be healthy, non-smokers and those who are in realistic expectations from the lengthening operation, who are aware of the risks and problems of the operation. 

Patient expectation, joint motion gap, muscle status, and bone capacity determine whether a person is an appropriate candidate for limb lengthening surgery.

Is Limb Lengthening Surgery a Painful Operation? 
Limb Lengthening Surgery involves a painful operation and treatment process. The person will have severe post-operative pain. Post-operative pain is at level that can be relieved by the pain relievers recommended by your doctor.

The reduction of pain in the course of treatment is only possible by regular physical therapy and exercises recommended by the doctor. Bones and muscle tissue strengthened by exercises help to reduce pain.