What types of devices are used for limb lengthening?

What types of devices are used for limb lengthening?

It is a complex orthopaedic procedure aimed at correcting limb length discrepancies or deformities. This innovative surgical technique involves gradually elongating bones using external or internal fixation devices. Several types of devices are utilized in Limb Lengthening Surgery to achieve the desired results effectively and safely. Here are some common types:

1. External Fixators: External fixators are devices placed outside the body and attached to the affected limb with pins or wires. These fixators consist of metal rings connected by adjustable rods. The surgeon makes precise adjustments to the fixator to gradually stretch the bone over time, stimulating new bone growth.

2. Internal Lengthening Nails: Internal lengthening nails are implanted inside the bone and are less visible compared to external fixators. These devices have a telescopic design, allowing for controlled distraction of the bone segments. Internal lengthening nails are particularly beneficial for patients who prefer a more discreet option or have cosmetic concerns.

3. Intramedullary Rods: Intramedullary rods are inserted into the hollow centre of the bone to support and stabilize it during lengthening. These rods may contain telescopic components or adjustable screws to facilitate gradual bone distraction. Intramedullary rods are commonly used for limb lengthening in the femur or tibia.

4. Circular Frames: Circular frames consist of rings connected by wires or rods and are placed around the limb. Unlike traditional external fixators, circular frames provide multidirectional stability, allowing for more precise control over the bone’s alignment and length. These frames are often used in complex cases or revision surgeries.

5. Precice® Nail System: The Precice® Nail System is a modern internal lengthening device equipped with a remote-controlled magnetic mechanism. This innovative system enables patients to perform bone lengthening at home under the guidance of their healthcare provider, reducing the need for frequent clinic visits.

This surgery employs a variety of devices tailored to the individual needs of patients. Whether using external fixators, internal lengthening nails, intramedullary rods, circular frames, or advanced systems like the Precice® Nail, orthopaedic surgeons can effectively correct limb length discrepancies and improve patients’ quality of life.

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