Leg length discrepancy is a condition in which one leg is shorter than the other, leading to problems with posture and walking pattern. There may be associated pain in the back, hip, knee or ankle. It can be corrected by a reconstructive surgical procedure called limb lengthening.
Limb lengthening is a reconstructive procedure where the deformed bone is straightened, or a missing bone is replaced. It is performed in children who have variations in their leg length because of a disease, injury or birth defect. The limb lengthening procedure can be performed by minimally invasive techniques.
Indications for Limb Lengthening
Children born with congenital defects such as fibular hemimelia (absence of fibula bone), congenital short femur and hemiatrophy (absence of one side of the body parts) have unequal leg lengths which can be treated with a limb lengthening procedure. Other conditions that can be corrected by limb lengthening procedure include:
- Growth plate injuries
- Bone infections resulting in leg length variations
- Broken bones followed by trauma
- Replacement of missing bone after the surgical removal of bone tumour and fracture
- Increasing the stature in dwarfs by lengthening both the legs