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Lengthening at the Betz institute
Limb lengthening, as defined by the Betz institute is the art of increasing height while combining aesthetics with perfect function. Modern medicine has allowed the idea of lengthening limbs for medical and cosmetic indications to become a reality.
Limb lengthening is a procedure in which a bone segment is surgically cut and a distraction device is used to slowly pull the two ends apart. After the desired lengthening has been achieved the bone consolidates until the lengthened gap has completely calcified.
Definition of Limb lengthening
Limb lengthening is distraction ostegenesis, also called callus distraction, a surgical process used for reconstruction of skeletal deformities, and for lengthening bones.
Distraction phase - The bone is surgically cut in two segments and the two ends of the bone are gradually moved apart at a slow enough rate for new bone to form in the gap.
Consolidation phase – This occurs when the desired length has been reached and the bone begins to fully grow and harden. The uniqueness and value of distraction osteogenesis lies in its ability to simultaneously expand both the bone volume and the surrounding soft tissue.
Limb lengthening operations can be performed on both upper (femur), and lower (tibia) legs with internal and external methods at the Betz Institute.
The history of Limb lengthening
The concept of limb lengthening was first discovered by Russian orthopedic Gavril Ilizarov. Ilizarov developed a procedure based on the biology of the bone and the ability of the surrounding soft-tissues to regenerate under tension stress.
technique involved an external fixator known as the Ilizarov apparatus.
Ilizarov’s external fixator was structured as a modular ring that went
around the desired bone intended for lengthening.
Limb lengthening today
Today’s limb lengthening procedures by Prof. Dr. Betz offers minimally invasive techniques performed with internal distraction devices. Technological advancements in the field of orthopedics has allowed patients the advantage of undergoing limb lengthening by internal devices that significantly increases mobility and reduces the risk of infection, nerve/soft tissue damage and discomfort/pain caused by external fixators.
The technique requires a surgical cut in the desired bone segment in which an intramedullary distraction nail is introduced into the bone canal. The internal nail is then fixated at the posterior and anterior ends of the bone segment by stabilizing screws.
Prof. Dr. Betz’s technique results in the smallest scar formation in the field of limb lengthening surgery.
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