Limb Lengthening and Deformity Correction
The Limb Lengthening and Deformity Correction Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital can produce life-changing results for affected children. The program utilizes the latest technology in the field to correct foot deformities and arm or leg length discrepancies, and helps the patient and family choose which method best suits their needs. Our pediatric orthopedists use advanced techniques and procedures for deformity correction and leg lengthening surgery, and ensure that your child is given the best treatment, care, and support throughout the process.
Conditions We Treat
Treatments and Procedures
Skeletal Dysplasia & Clubfoot in Babies
The Department of Orthopedics at Nicklaus Children's Hospital is a regional leader in the care of orthopedic conditions in infants and babies. Our specialists provide comprehensive treatment to foot deformities, including skeletal dysplasia and clubfoot in babies and children.
About Limb Lengthening and Deformity Correction
Limb correction is a gradual process that lengthens and/or straightens bone and soft tissue so that a limb can function as normally as possible. At Nicklaus Children's, one technique the orthopedist may utilize for limb lengthening is the Ilizarov surgical method to correct the deformed limb. This technique uses a device called a circular external fixator to take advantage of the body's natural ability to grow healthy new bone tissue. A circular external fixator fits around the patient's limb and is attached with pins that extend through the skin and into the bone.
Other techniques that may be employed for arm or leg length discrepancies include: mono-lateral external fixators, intramedullary skeletal kinetic distractors (ISKD), guided growth and internal fixation. Daily adjustments are made to the apparatus, gradually causing the bone to be reshaped or lengthened as needed. Typically, limb lengthening and correction is completed within four to 12 months depending on the patient's initial condition. Taylor Spatial Frames are also utilized by the treatment team at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.
Meeting with an Orthopedic Surgeon during Pregnancy
As more and more women have ultrasounds during their pregnancies, doctors are diagnosing clubfoot and other limb differences before birth more often. The Nicklaus Children’s Orthopedic Surgery Program offers prenatal consults for orthopedic conditions including clubfoot and other congenital differences. Meeting with one of our pediatric orthopedic surgeons will help you get a better idea of what treatment options are available to you after your baby’s birth.
Pediatric Orthopedic Team
Throughout limb correction treatment, patients are carefully monitored by the Nicklaus Children's orthopedic surgery specialists. After the initial surgical procedure is performed, the patient is typically hospitalized for several days for monitoring and education. Instruction is provided in the hospital by the pediatric orthopedic surgeon and by the physical and occupational therapist to ensure that children and families can manage the external fixator successfully when they return home.
Once at home, the patient is seen by the Limb Deformity Correction Program staff on an outpatient basis every week or two to ensure that progress is carefully monitored.