Leg length discrepancies and bone and joint deformities can have a number of causes and in more severe cases, lead to a number of life-long issues. That’s why the Pediatric Orthopedics team at Tufts Medical Center in Boston offers a Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Program. Our orthopedic surgeons offer a wide range of individualized treatment options in a caring and family-friendly environment.
Bone and joint deformities can be congenital, developmental or caused by an infection or trauma. These deformities can lead to crooked bones or joints which can cause gait disturbance, mechanical axis deviation and premature arthritis as well as cosmetic and social issues.
Leg length discrepancy is the difference between the length of one leg compared to the other. Small discrepancies are very common and often go untreated. However, larger discrepancies can cause inefficient gait, chronic pain, back pain and degenerative joint changes.
Adults’ leg length discrepancy can be measured but because children are still growing, our experts evaluate our pediatric patients’ projected limb length difference at the completion of growth (adulthood). Based on this measurement, the following treatment is recommended:
Limb lengthening can sound like a scary procedure, but our surgeons have strong experience in using both the external fixator and lengthening over intramedullary nail methods. During both methods, our surgeons cut a short bone into two segments and gradually move the cut ends of the bone apart, allowing new bone to form in the gap.