In some cases it is observed that children develop legs of unequal length during the growing years. This can arise due to several reasons such as:
• Congenital deformities of bones, joints, muscles and tendons
• Poliomyelitis, also popularly known as polio
• Cerebral palsy
• Weak muscles that prevent normal leg growth
• Other hip diseases or previous injuries
Such conditions can be treated by surgical procedures for leg lengthening or leg shortening. By these procedures the surgeons will be able to lengthen an abnormally short leg or shorten an abnormally long leg. You can also limit the growth of a normal leg so that the shorter leg grows to the matching length.
Though these treatments may involve several surgeries with a long recovery period and the associated risks involved in any major surgical operation, the result could be an addition of up to six inches in the case of leg lengthening. Bone resection (or shortening) involves surgically removing a portion of the leg and allowing the ends of the cut joint to heal, over a period of months, using metal pins and screws. Bone growth restrictions are carried out by working on the growth plate of the longer leg to slow down its normal growth, till both legs are close to the same length. Your doctor will recommend the best surgical option to be chosen, based on physical examination and other clinical investigations. You will also be advised on the post operative rehabilitation process involved.
Click here for answers from our specialists to some of the FAQ on this surgery.