Management of Leg Length Discrepancy, Deformity correction and Bone Loss.
What is Limb Reconstruction?
Limb Reconstruction Surgery is a specialised field of Orthopaedics that deals with the management of severe deformity. This may be due to trauma, infection or congenital conditions that are not easily managed using standard orthopaedic techniques. Surgery may involve growing bones to equalise leg lengths, or placing special frame constructs on the limb to correct severe deformity. As always, a thorough assessment of your condition, why it has occurred and how it affects your life, is critical to deciding a management strategy.
Dr Maine will usually spend at least two consults discussing the potential surgery and its risks and benefits. As the surgery is often complex, it is essential that you understand your procedure and the measures it will take to ensure a good outcome. Once complete, it is not uncommon to require extensive rehabilitation with physiotherapy. We ensure that you are fully supported throughout your journey.
Should you require reconstructive surgery, then the QLRC has resources available to assist your management of the devices used. Ms Alana Jessop and Ms Noelle Coleman are available for local and phone support to provide guidance through the reconstruction process.
Assessment of Bone Age
It is funny that we consider our bone age different to our normal age. In reality our bones are all the same age as we are, but we use the term “bone age” to help identify people who might stop growing earlier or later than the average person (population average). This helps us predict height and also enables us to calculate by how much a deformity or leg length difference might progress.
On average, boys stop growing when their growth plates shut at the age of 17 and girls stop at the age of 15. If a boy is still growing at the age of 18, we can say that his bones are not yet mature and are therefore “young” for his age. We can see how much growing a child has left to do by looking at different growth plates.
In the young child under the age of 10, it is easy to get an X-ray of the non dominant wrist. The bones in the wrist appear at standardised ages, and this can be used to calculate skeletal age.
As a child grows older, it is more accurate to use X-rays of the elbow. The same principle applies.