Limb Length Inequalities & Deformities
The Limb Lengthening and Correction Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital, can produce life-changing results for affected children. The program utilizes the latest technology in the field to correct deformities and discrepancies, and helps the patient and family choose which method best suits their needs. Our pediatric orthopedists use advanced techniques and procedures for limb lengthening and correction, and ensure that your child is given the best treatment, care, and support throughout the process. Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital's Department of Orthopedics - the largest provider of pediatric orthopedic services in the region - is the only service in South Florida to offer a Limb Lengthening and Correction Program for children.
About Limb Lengthening and 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, formerly Miami Children's Hospital.
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 Correction Program staff on an outpatient basis every week or two to ensure that progress is carefully monitored.