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Leg Lengthening Surgery
Leg lengthening surgery is an attempt to increase leg length due to aesthetic or health problems. Trauma, hormone disorders, leg inequalities, dwarfism and innate features can lead to not get taller. Lengthening operations can be performed not only for people with health problems but also for completely healthy.
Who can have leg lengthening surgery?
Lengthening surgery can be performed for people who think that they are short and who are medically determined to be short. It can also be performed for children older than 3 years old. By doing this surgery before the school age, the child is expected to be in the same height as his/her peers when s/he reaches his/her school age.
Lengthening surgery for adults 40 years and older is risky. The risk of complications increases in this age group. Therefore, aesthetic lengthening surgery is not recommended for this age group.
Lengthening surgery is not suitable for everyone. It cannot be performed for smokers, cancer, diabetic and heart failure patients. The bones and muscles should be suitable for surgery.
What should be the expectation?
When planning a leg lengthening surgery, the patient’s body is considered as a whole. The surgery is performed by taking the joint decision of the patient and the physician considering the height, body and leg ratio. Increase in height is planned to be between 5-12cm.
Length extension surgery varies according to the devices used. 3 methods are widely used. The Ilizarov method has been used for many years. The other methods are Holyfix and combined methods. The decision of which method is to be used is determined by the patient’s wishes and needs.
The surgery is performed by the orthopedic surgeon under general anesthesia. It takes 2-3 hours. The surgical procedure differs according to the method used.
The healing process
The patient is discharged after 2 to 7 days of hospitalization. There are no serious pain problems, so simple painkillers can easily control the pain. The surgical scar is minimal due to small incisions. The recovery time is different for each patient. Physical therapy support may be needed during this process to keep the joints of the patient flexible and to increase the strength of the muscles that support the healing process. After the necessary lengthening and bone strengthening is completed, the patient can walk and return to his daily life. The patient should follow the given instructions strictly in the post operative process to shorten the healing process.