Limb lengthening and reconstruction techniques can be used to lengthen and/ or straighten bone segments. Damaged or misshapen bones may be the result of a congenital problem that the patient has had from birth or in response to a traumatic injury or serious disease.
The limb lengthening and correction process works on the principle of distraction osteogenesis. The bone is carefully cut during surgery and then very gradually distracted (pulled apart), leading to new bone formation. In this way, bone segments can be lengthened up to double the original bone length.
Adults and children with arm or leg length difference, bone or joint problems from birth deformities, growth plate fractures, trauma-related bone issues, deformities from serious infections or tumors, or dwarfism or congenital short stature may all be good candidates for bone lengthening.
There are several approaches to bone lengthening surgery, including both external and internal mechanisms. Determining which procedure is right for you will include review of age, general overall health, support at home and other factors.Previous Page Last Review Date: January 8, 2018