Limb Length Discrepancy - Anthropometric Cosmetology
Lengthening surgery is a surgical operation performed by orthopedic specialists in order to lengthen the bones in the arms and legs and increase functionality. Apart from defects caused by leg length inequalities, poorly fused bone fractures as a result of unsuccessful treatment, congenital defects and developmental disorders, it can also be performed for aesthetic purposes only.
Why is Length Extension Surgery Performed?
Although short stature or disproportionate limbs are not seen as a disease, it can cause a person to feel uncomfortable and social, psychological and functional disadvantages that will have radical effects on their life. Thanks to the surgical methods applied today, these problems can be prevented. Lengthening naturally occurs over the years during the growth and development process. However, genetic factors, hormonal reasons or chronic diseases can cause short stature. At the point where this situation causes physical dissatisfaction or psychological discomfort, the person needs specialist counseling and when the operation is decided, the lengthening process, which normally takes years, is performed within months with lengthening surgeries. So much so that patients who have undergone aesthetic lengthening begin to accept their height as normal after the process and state that their social skills and self-confidence have improved. Thus, their satisfaction increases with significant changes in their professional and personal lives. Most patients choose limb lengthening for cosmetic reasons.
To Whom Is The Lengthening Surgery Applied?
Lengthening surgeries can be performed from the age of 4-5 depending on the bone structure. Especially dwarfism treatment is started at an early age. As age progresses, the formation of new bone tissue and the healing process will become more difficult, so the 20-45 age range is the most appropriate period. It is possible to lengthen 10-15 cm with the lengthening operation, but problems such as deterioration of the leg-body ratio, which may occur due to excessive increase in height, should be considered.
Recovery time for lengthening surgery varies from patient to patient. The consolidation process, which is the second stage of the treatment, can sometimes take a very long time, especially in adults. As a general rule, children recover twice as fast as adult patients. For example, if the desired target new bone growth is 4 centimeters, it will be enough for a child to use the fixation device for three months, while for an adult it will take 6 months to complete the process.
Physical therapy during recovery plays an important role in keeping the patient’s joints flexible and maintaining muscle strength. Patients should be fed a nutritious diet and take calcium supplements to increase the speed of recovery.
The surgical procedure for lengthening takes approximately 1.5-2 hours. The patient can usually be discharged from the hospital after 2 days if no complications develop.
The time between the completion of the healing process and the removal of the fixation devices varies according to the technique used and the age of the patient. For example, the time required for 5 cm lengthening with intraosseous devices is approximately 4-6 months in adults.