Orthopaedic surgeons at Children’s National help children with different leg lengths (limb length discrepancy) achieve better functioning and quality of life. Whether your child’s limb length discrepancy is hardly noticeable or large enough to affect his or her daily activities, we offer hope and specialized care.
Limb Lengthening at Children’s National: Why Choose Us?
At Children’s National, we start working with children and their families at the first signs of a limb length discrepancy. Our orthopaedic experts have years of experience and are trained in all the latest limb lengthening techniques.
Highlights of our program include:
- Advanced treatments: The only approved device of its kind, the PRECICE® nail works from within your child’s bone to add limb length. Children using the PRECICE® device often experience less discomfort and better joint mobility during limb lengthening, compared to traditional external frame devices.
- Minimally invasive techniques: We use small incisions to access bones and low energy vibrations to carefully break them when necessary. Our approach minimizes disruption to muscle tissue and veins and lowers the risk of complications. Learn more about minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery.
- Developmentally appropriate care: We use X-rays and special calculations to determine your child’s projected limb length difference at the time he or she stops growing. Using this information, we determine the best time in your child’s skeletal development for treatment. In some cases, it is best to delay treatment until your child is almost done growing.
- Accuracy: We ensure the accuracy of your child’s treatment from the start with the help of special computer technology. If your child is receiving an external frame device, special software helps us pre-build the device before surgery and calculate the necessary daily adjustments to ensure equal limb length and bone alignment.
- Family-centered care: We pride ourselves in getting to know our patients and their families. This helps us tailor care and treatments to meet each child’s unique needs.
Learn more about limb lengthening treatments.
Conditions That May Cause Uneven Limb Length
Many conditions can lead to limb length discrepancies, including:
- Birth defects involving the arms or legs (orthopaedic birth defects)
- Slowed or uneven limb growth due to injury (orthopaedic trauma)
- Bone health conditions, including skeletal dysplasia and bone infections
- Nervous system (neurologic) disorders, including neurofibromatosis, polio and cerebral palsy
- Syndromic conditions, such as overgrowth syndrome
- Unknown causes (idiopathic limb length discrepancy)
Limb Length Discrepancy
A limb length discrepancy is a difference in the lengths of the limbs (one arm or leg is shorter than the other arm or leg).
To help ensure the success of your child’s surgery right from the start, we help you know exactly what to expect. View our list of resources to address common questions and concerns.