Selecting the Ideal Limb Lengthening Approach: Comparing Femur and Tibia Lengthening

Deciding to undergo limb-lengthening surgery is a significant step towards achieving desired height or correcting limb length discrepancies. However, selecting the ideal approach between femur and tibia lengthening requires careful consideration of various factors, including individual goals, medical history, and surgical options available. 

With advancements in orthopedic techniques and technologies, patients now have access to innovative procedures like Precise Max (formerly Stryde), Precice 2, and the LON method, offering improved outcomes and enhanced patient experiences. In this guide, we will explore the differences between femur and tibia lengthening, weigh the pros and cons of each approach, and discuss various lengthening options available to help patients make informed decisions about their limb-lengthening journey.

Limb-Lengthening Methods and Their Outcomes

Limb-lengthening procedures have evolved significantly over the years, offering patients improved outcomes and shorter recovery times. Among the various methods available, Precise Max (formerly Stryde), Precice 2, and the LON method stand out as popular choices for achieving desired limb lengthening.

Precise Max (Formerly Stryde)

Precise Max, previously known as Stryde, utilizes an advanced intramedullary nail system with motorized lengthening capabilities. This method allows for precise control over the lengthening process, resulting in more predictable outcomes and reduced risks of complications.

Precice 2

The Precise 2 system employs a remote-controlled magnetic mechanism to gradually lengthen the bone, offering patients greater convenience and flexibility during the lengthening process. With its innovative technology, Precise 2 has become a preferred option for many individuals seeking limb-lengthening procedures.

LON Method

The LON (Lengthening Over Nail) method involves the insertion of an external fixator over an existing intramedullary nail, providing stability and support during the lengthening process. This technique offers a combination of internal and external fixation, allowing for controlled bone growth and enhanced patient comfort.

Femur vs. Tibia Lengthening

When considering limb-lengthening procedures, patients often face the choice between femur and tibia lengthening, each with its own set of benefits and considerations.

Femur Lengthening: Pros and Cons

Femur lengthening typically allows for greater length gains compared to tibia lengthening. However, the procedure may involve a longer recovery time and increased risk of complications such as hip and knee stiffness.

Tibia Lengthening: Pros and Cons

Tibia lengthening is generally associated with shorter recovery times and reduced risk of joint stiffness. However, the maximum length gains achievable may be less than those with femur lengthening.

Your Lengthening Options

Patients considering limb-lengthening procedures have several options to choose from, depending on their individual needs and goals.

Option 1 – Bilateral Femur Lengthening

Maximum Lengthening Amount: 8-10 cm / 3.25-4 inches

Option 2 – Bilateral Tibia Lengthening

Maximum Lengthening Amount: 5-7 cm / 2-2.75 inches

Option 3 – Sequential Lengthening of Femur and Tibia

Maximum Lengthening Amount: 14-17 cm / 5.5-6.7 inches

Option 4 – Quadrilateral Lengthening of Femur and Tibia

Maximum Lengthening Amount: 13-15 cm / 5.1-5.9 inches

How Can I Choose the Best Option For Me?

Selecting the most suitable limb-lengthening option requires careful consideration of factors such as desired length gains, recovery time, potential risks, and individual preferences. Consulting with a qualified orthopedic surgeon specializing in limb-lengthening procedures is essential to assess candidacy and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. By weighing the pros and cons of each approach and discussing your concerns with your healthcare provider, you can make an informed decision and embark on your journey toward achieving optimal limb length and function.

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