Limb lengthening is a process by which an arm or a leg can be lengthened. Usually this is done in cases where one limb is short secondary to congenital conditions (being born that way) or acquired due to trauma, infection, segmental bone loss, childhood diseases, underlying bone conditions etc…

Limb lengthening can also be done in both legs and/or arms in patients with dwarfism, short stature or for aesthetic reasons. Cosmetic limb lengthening can help patients achieve their ideal height. Please see section on Cosmetic limb lengthening.

The surgery for limb lengthening involves either an external or internal device that will hold the bone on either end and the bone is then cut in between.  The bone is gradually pulled apart 1mm/day, a process called distraction osteogenesis until the desired length is achieved.  Usually a bone can be lengthened between 6-8cm.  Limb lengthening can be done in the arms (humerus or radius/ulna) and in the legs (femur and tibia).

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Verdun Hospital

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