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Limb Reconstruction and Limb Lengthening: A Step towards Healthy Life

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You may have injured your arms or legs in an accident where they have affected your limbs, or you have a congenital disability due to which your arms or legs are not of the same length. These things can affect your life, so doing day-to-day tasks could be very difficult.

If you have had this condition since childhood or your child has issues like this, it takes a mental and emotional toll on you. The most suitable option is to visit an orthopedic surgeon in this situation.

In this article, Dr. Sandeep Singh, one of the best orthopedic doctor in Bhubaneswar, sheds some light on limb reconstruction and lengthening.

What is Limb Reconstruction and Limb Lengthening?

Limbs are generally considered the body parts that extend from the trunk of a body, like an arm or leg. Limb reconstruction surgery is often used to fix your abnormal bone or replace a bone in your limbs.

When a limb has a different shape due to a problem with a bone or joint, it is called deformity. Deformity could be anything from rotation, angulation, translation, or length. Deformity could have occurred at birth or later in life due to an injury. Limb reconstruction surgeries are also used to lengthen or straighten the deformed bone segment.

Limb reconstruction is a type of orthopedic surgery. The medical professional who performs these surgeries is known as an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Sandeep Singh is one of the best orthopedic surgeons in Bhubaneswar. He works at Care Super Specialty Hospital and has 11 plus years of experience in orthopedic surgeries.

Who needs it?

  • You may need limb reconstruction surgery if you have bone deformities in your arms or legs. These deformities could be present since birth, or you could have gotten into an accidental injury.
  • You might need limb lengthening surgery if you had an injury that has resulted in the shortening of your stem.
  • Many people have length discrepancies. These discrepancies can result in a difference in length between your two arms and legs. If you have had a fracture, it could be short or crooked.
  • Genetic disorders can make your bones more fragile and prone to fractures. These problems can start in your childhood and result in severe long-term damage.
  • If you have a high arch, you can also consider limb lengthening.
  • If you have an abnormal curve in your legs, you should seek treatment as soon as possible.

Procedure

According to Dr. Singh, one of the best orthopedic surgeons in Bhubaneswar, the following is the procedure of limb reconstruction surgery:

In this procedure, the frame is attached to the bone by wires, pins, and screws that stay outside the limb. The surgeon can alter the distance between the two bones. The procedure is known as the External Fixator procedure.

If patients are diagnosed with osteomyelitis (infected bone), they will require complex treatment as follows:

  • A nonunion is an infected bone area where the broken bones develop an infection. It happens even when the patient is given suitable treatment.
  • The orthopedic surgeon will remove the pus and infected tissue. Then they’ll take a swab of the nonunion for further testing.
  • After that, the doctor will give you antibiotics to treat the infection.
  • The treatment for the infection will include drains and antibiotic beads.
  • A plastic surgeon will perform a bone graft surgery to stabilize the bone if required.

Limb Lengthening Surgery

  • Limb lengthening surgery uses your body’s ability to produce new bones. The tissues, nerves, and blood vessels around the limb lengthen the limb over time.
  • The orthopedic surgeon cuts the limb bone to insert a metallic lengthening device into it. The device widens the gap between the bones over time.
  • The body produces new bone cells that fill in the space after a specific time.
  • The length of a bone grows at 1 mm per day until it reaches the desired size.

Internal lengthening nail:

In this procedure, the internal lengthening nail is inserted into the cavity of the bone marrow. This nail is motorized and is operated by remote control. There is a magnet in the nail that can be monitored through the remote monitoring device so that it can extend and lengthen the bone.

Even after the desired length has been reached, the device remains in place. It helps heal and solidify the new bone.

Recovery

There are two phases of limb lengthening surgery:

Distraction Phase:

  • This phase begins by pulling apart the cut bone, promoting a distraction osteogenesis process, (a way to make a longer bone out of a shorter one) where the pressure is applied to the bones encouraging new growth.
  • You can expect an increase of approximately 2.5 cm or 1 inch in a month.
  • And you will need to use a walker in case you have limb lengthening.
  • You should also attend physical therapy fo5r a month or two.
  • This phase will depend upon the patient and the desired length they want.

Consolidation Phase:

  • It is a healing phase where the bone begins to harden and heal completely.
  • You will be able to resume your normal activities during this phase and can start putting more weight on the limb.
  • Physical therapy can help a lot in this phase.
  • The limb lengthening device will stay inside or outside the limb throughout this phase.
  • The consolidation phase lasts twice as long as the distraction phase.

Success rate

The success rate of limb lengthening surgery in India is around 90% to 95%.

Cost

The Cost of Limb Lengthening Surgery in India can range from Rs. 150000 to Rs. 800000.

Conclusion:

Living with an injury affecting your life is not easy, and nobody should have to do this. If you have any issues regarding your limbs or limb injuries, you should visit an orthopedic surgeon. They can make your life easier and happier.

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