Management OptionsYour options for treatment of leg length discrepancy and deformity
Options in managing a symptomatic LLD include
1. Non operative options such as a shoe raise
2. Shortening the longer leg – In a child, this can be done by stopping the longer leg from growing before they finish growing.
This is an easy procedure with minimal risk. It is called an Epiphyseodesis.
In an adult, a small section of bone can be removed to allow the leg lengths to be equalised
3. Lengthening the shorter leg
This is much more complicated and has more risks involved. It is possible to grow a bone up to 5 cm in one setting, and potentially even longer if you are prepared to undergo multiple surgeries. Depending on the bone requiring the lengthening and also the presence of other co-existing deformities it is possible to use internal devices such as lenthening nails. If you have a more complicated deformity in the bone, then an external fixation frame may be the more appropriate device for your correction.
Options in managing a symptomatic Deformity
1. Non operative options depend on the severity of the deformity and your expectations as the patient.Deformity correction surgery
This may involve bony and soft tissue surgery around the bone or joint in question. Sometimes it is also necessary to address adjacent bones and joints which may compensate for an angular deformity. The achievement of correct alignment in the adult is thought to be protective of the cartilage in our joints and may prevent the development of arthritis in the future. Correction of bone deformity can often be performed by cutting the bone and using “internal fixation” such as plates and nails to hold the bone together as it heals in its corrected position. In certain circumstances, external frames are used to gradually correct bone deformity. These devices require significant time and effort on the part of the patient. We aim to support you through every step of the process.
All these issues relate to deformity correction in children. It is necessary to consider the additional element of growth in a child and how this may affect the progression of the condition in question.