Make no bones about it
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For patients, the most important part of undergoing limb-lengthening and stature adjustment procedures is to know exactly what they are signing up for, as listed in the infographic below. Besides professional consultations and advice, interested patients can seek more anecdotal information from people who have undergone the process through support groups, both online and offline. Screening phase (at surgeon’s discretion)
Patients are asked to write essays on questions the surgeon has prepared, which include matters such as mental well-being, physical health and reasons they want to undergo limb lengthening.
Only shortlisted applicants are contacted by the surgeon for their first consultations. First surgery
The surgeon implants the limb-lengthening device.
Consolidation phase (20 to 60 days)
No weight-bearing activity or walking to encourage hardening of the newly formed bone.
Some lengthening devices allow for light movement on crutches during this phase.
The patient’s final height is measured. Full recovery
Patients return to life as normal.
Some internal lengthening devices require patients to return after one or two years to have the structural rods removed.
Potential patients should: Begin preparation up to a year before they intend to undergo limb lengthening Maintain the body in an active regenerative state to ease bone growth process Include weightand bearing flexibility exercises to improve regeneration rate of soft tissue around the bone Consultation
The surgeon listens to the patient’s needs and sets a realistic target and timeline for the procedure.
At this stage, if the patient decides to go through with the process, the surgeon sets an appointment for the surgery from a few months up to a year into the future to allow the patient time to prepare.
Bones are moved apart 0.667mm to 1mm daily with a series of clicks to the lengthening device.
Supplements with calcium and vitamin D are popular, but patients are also encouraged to consume silica supplements to improve calcium absorption in the body. In case of complication
Surgeons either slow down or terminate the lengthening process altogether. Additional surgery might be needed for more severe cases. Physiotherapy
Patients are to perform stretching and exercises with lower impact than what they did before starting the process, but slightly more strenuous ones than what they did during the lengthening phase.
There are certainly limits to how much bones can be lengthened, but these limits differ from case to case depending on how well a patient may be recovering or how well the body responds to the stress of lengthening.
Although limb-lengthening and stature adjustment procedures may seem like an extreme measure, they are monumental in improving the quality of life for some individuals, whether they undergo the procedure for cosmetic or medical reasons.