Limb Lengthening Specialist

Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute

Orthopedics located in West Palm Beach, Florida

Children who are born with or develop discrepancies in the length of their arms and legs can look forward to living a healthy and active life with a limb-lengthening procedure. Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute founder, Dr. Dror Paley is the most experienced limb lengthening surgeon in the world. Dr. Paley has developed more than 100 new operative procedures for bone and soft tissue reconstruction. To schedule an appointment, call the office in West Palm Beach, Florida, or use the online booking feature.

Limb Lengthening Q & A

What is limb lengthening?

Children and adults can have discrepancies in the length of their arms and legs for many reasons. Some are born with the problem, while others acquire the length difference through developmental problems or trauma. No matter how your problem developed, limb lengthening is an effective option for restoring your limbs to equal length.

What conditions may need limb lengthening?

There are many potential conditions that cause limb length discrepancies. These are a few examples of conditions frequently treated at Paley Institute: 

  • Post-traumatic injuries
  • Congenital femoral deficiency
  • Fibular hemimelia
  • Tibial hemimelia
  • Hemihypertrophy
  • Melorheostosis
  • Multiple hereditary exostoses
  • Achondroplasia and other dysplasias
  • Radial club hand and TAR syndrome
  • Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia

Dr. Paley has pioneered numerous innovative treatments for limb discrepancies. Thanks to his techniques, children who might face amputation have hope for limb reconstruction and restoration.

How does limb lengthening work?

Limb lengthening is a two-phase process. During the first phase, called distraction, the bone and soft tissues are slowly separated, which promotes the growth of new tissues to fill in the gap. As the bones are increasingly separated and new bone, skin, muscle, nerves, blood vessels, and other soft tissues regenerate, the limb gradually lengthens. Distraction typically proceeds at the rate of 1 millimeter per day or about 1 inch per month.

During surgery for distraction, your Paley Institute doctor cuts the bone, then attaches an external fixator to the bone or implants an expandable device inside the bone. As long as your bone isn’t too small, your doctor uses a cutting-edge internal device, Precice STRYDE™.

The length of both devices is gradually adjusted to separate the bone. Your Paley Institute doctor teaches you how to adjust the external device by hand, while the internal device responds to signals from a remote control.

After your bone reaches the desired length, the next phase begins. During the consolidation phase, you’ll continue to wear the fixator, but no further adjustments are made. Instead, the fixator helps stabilize the newly regenerated bone until it fully matures and hardens.

Throughout both phases of limb lengthening, patients participate in physical therapy. Individualized exercises prevent muscle tightness and help maintain your range of motion.

Physical therapy also helps you get cleared to return to sports by restoring normal strength and mobility. Many patients are cleared to return to play in about six months after their surgery.

The team at Paley Orthopedic & Spine Institute has achieved tremendous success with limb lengthening: All their patients have met their treatment goals and returned to their full activities. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature.

Read More