This procedure corrects a leg length difference. With surgery and devices, a bone can be lengthened over a period of time. The process triggers bone growth and soft tissue lengthening.
Lengthening may be needed if you have a length difference due to:
- Trauma (eg, leg fracture)
- Bone infection
- Congenital defect or other condition that affects your bone growth (eg, Klippel-Trenauney syndrome)
- Short stature (eg, dwarfism)
- Cerebral palsy
If the difference is not corrected, it can cause excess strain on joints. You could have pain in your knee, hip, or ankle. You may develop osteoarthritis and back pain.
Correcting the problem can help improve walking and reduce your risk of other problems. Depending on the technique, several inches may be added.
Last reviewedSeptember 2012by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.