Leg Lengthening is a surgical area which is performed for approximately hundred years and is even thought to go more into the past. It has developed ever since.
There are basically three systems. First is the exclusively external system. The bones are fixed with thin wires in this system which is also called Ilizarov method. This device holds the bone from up and above and below, and the patient slowly lengthens the bones by turning the screws on the device after the bone is cracked. This also called external fixation method.
Second is an advanced method, called combined method. In this method there’s an external fixation system outside the skin to fix the bone and there’s a nail or plate inside. The most important advantage of the combined method is shortened fixation duration. External fixation is the most frequent cause of patient complaint and the condition that causes discomfort the most. The difference from Ilizarov method is that it fixes the plate with nails or plates after the lengthening process, which is the same with Ilizarov method and external fixation is terminated after that.
Since people who undergo cosmetic leg lengthening do not wish to walk around with a visible device, combined system is preferred more. In the Ilizarov method patient shall wait for 1 to 1.5 months for 1 cm of lengthening. This means the patient shall use the device for 5 to 7.5 months for 5 cm lengthening. Since patient can lengthen his leg 1 mm per day on average, lengthening of 5 cm requires using the device for 50 days and then the patient is taken into surgery and the external system is removed, nail or plate inside is left there. Since this is highly comfortable for patients, combine system is used more frequently.
The third method is lengthening exclusively with systems inside the bone. There are no visible systems externally. There’s only a nail that lengthens (motorized nail) inside the bone. The internally applied nail can be considered as a motorized nail that extends like a telescope. Since the bone is elongated with only an internal system, the patient comfort is high. However, this method is more costly compared to others.
Since these treatments are done by cracking the bones, there may be pain related to strained muscles and nerves. However this varies by each individual. While some may continue their daily lives some may have severe pains that prevent them from leaving their house.
Contents of the page are for information purposes only, you must consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.