Overview of Limb Lengthening Surgery Treatment India

Limb Lengthening is a surgical procedure in which an arm or leg becomes longer than before. It is used to treat patients who have unequal legs or arms on both sides. When people have one leg shorter than the other it can create some complications like difficulty in walking, long-standing, fatigue, and muscle pain. To prevent these complications, limb lengthening surgery is performed to keep equal length of legs on both sides. Limb lengthening surgery can be performed on the upper arm, forearm, thigh, and lower leg. Limb lengthening surgery can also be performed to treat some of the diseases like skeletal dysplasia in which bone growth is disturbed. There are also some of the risks that are associated with limb lengthening surgery. Some patients experience pain immediately after the surgical procedure but it can be controlled with some medications. The recovery phase can vary according to the condition and complications of each patient. But generally, it can take 5 to 6 months for the recovery. Rehabilitation is also important for patients who receive limb-lengthening surgery. In the early phase, light activities are recommended with a gradual increase in the intensity of exercises. It improves the ability of the patient to use each limb with maximum efficiency.

Types of Limb Lengthening Surgery Treatment India

Some of the types of limb lengthening surgeries according to the type of techniques are described below:

  • Ilizarov Method
  • LON (Lengthening Over Nails) Technique
  • Taylor Spatial Frame (TSF)
  • Magnetic Intramedullary Nail
  • Bone Transport
  • Callotasis
  • External Fixators with Ring Systems

Ilizarov Method

This is a commonly used technique that involves the use of an external fixator device which is known as the "Ilizarov method." It allows for gradual lengthening of bones by making small adjustments to the fixator over time.

LON (Lengthening Over Nails) Technique

In this approach, a metal nail or rod is inserted inside the bone and the lengthening is achieved by slowly separating the bone segments by using an external frame.

Taylor Spatial Frame (TSF)

The TSF is an external fixator that provides great flexibility in adjusting the position of the bone in six planes and allows for more accurate and precise correction of deformities and lengthening.

Magnetic Intramedullary Nail

This technique involves the use of a magnetically controlled intramedullary nail that can be adjusted without any external fixators or wires.

Bone Transport

This method is often used when there are larger bone defects. It involves the gradual movement of a bone segment from one location to another. It fills the gap as it progresses.

Callotasis

Callotasis is a procedure where a small gap is created in the bone and as the bone regenerates, it fills in the gap and effectively promotes the lengthening of the limb.

External Fixators with Ring Systems

Various external fixator systems such as the circular ring fixator can be used for limb lengthening surgeries. It provides more stability and control.

Procedure of Limb Lengthening Surgery

The general overview of the surgical procedure of limb lengthening is described below:

Anesthesia: The anesthesia is given to the patient before the surgery to reduce the effect of pain and discomfort.

Incision: A surgical incision is made at the site where the lengthening is needed. The location and size of the incision depend on the specific procedure and the preference of the surgeon.

Bone Osteotomy: In limb lengthening surgery, an osteotomy or bone cut is carefully performed. Depending on the technique, this may involve cutting the bone into two segments or creating multiple cuts to achieve the desired length or correction.

Implantation: Depending on the type of technique, the surgeon may insert external fixators such as the Ilizarov apparatus or internal devices like intramedullary nails or rods to stabilize and support the bone segments.

Lengthening Phase: If an external fixator is used, the lengthening process begins shortly after surgery. Adjustments are made to the fixator at regular intervals typically once a day to gradually separate the bone segments and stimulate new bone growth. 

Radiographic Monitoring: Regular X-rays are taken during the lengthening phase to assess the progress of bone healing and to ensure proper alignment.

Rehabilitation: Physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises are an essential part of the recovery process. It helps to maintain the normal movements of joints, to increase muscle strength and overall limb function.

Removal of External Fixators or Devices: Once the desired length or correction is achieved, the external fixators or internal devices are removed through a surgical procedure.

Cost of Limb Lengthening Surgery in India

The cost of limb lengthening surgery in India ranges from 1200 USD to 1700 USD. The cost can vary according to the technique of limb lengthening surgery. The cost can also vary according to the complications of each patient.

Treatment Costs in India Min in USD Max in USD
Limb Lengthening Surgery 1225 USD 1635 USD
Rehabilitation 300 USD 800 USD

Symptoms and Risk factors

Indications of Limb-Lengthening Surgery

  • Some of the indications of limb lengthening surgery are:
  • Leg Length Differences
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Congenital Limb Length differences
  • Deformities
  • Traumatic Injuries
  • Bone Infections
  • Dwarfism
  • Cosmetic Reasons
  • Growth Plate Disorders
  • Unresolved Fractures
  • Joint disease
  • Bone Tumors 
  • Missing or underdeveloped bones
  • Muscle weakness

Risk Factors of Limb-Lengthening Surgery

Some of the risk factors of limb length surgery are as follows:

Infection

There is a risk of infection at the surgical site which can lead to complications and may require additional treatment.

Nerve or Blood Vessel Damage

During surgery, nearby nerves or blood vessels may become damaged which can lead to movement or sensory defects and problems related to circulation.

Delayed Bone Healing

Some patients may experience delayed bone healing which can result in prolonged recovery and may need further surgical interventions.

Non-union

In some cases, the bone segments may not unite properly which leads to non-union. This complication may require revision surgery.

Malalignment

Improper alignment of the lengthened bone segments can result in deformities or functional issues.

Joint Stiffness

Joint stiffness can also occur due to immobility for a long time during the lengthening process.

Pain and Discomfort

Pain and discomfort are common during the lengthening phase which can be managed with pain medications but they can affect the quality of life of patients.

Pin Site Complications

External fixators may cause irritation, pin tract infections, or discomfort at the insertion sites.

Limited Range of Motion

After surgery, some individuals may experience a limited range of motion in the affected limb.

Complications from Lengthening Devices

Complications related to the specific devices used for limb lengthening such as mechanical failure or hardware-related issues can also occur in some of the cases.

Scarring

Surgical scars may be visible and their appearance can vary according to the healing process of each patient.

Treatment Costs for Limb Lengthening Surgery

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