Dr. Christopher Iobst, an orthopedic surgeon at Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH), is Miami-Dade County’s first to offer a new minimally invasive treatment for children and adolescents with leg length discrepancies or short stature. The new technique enables length correction with an internally implanted telescopic rod adjusted remotely, rather than an external frame surgically attached to the outside of the limb.
Leg length discrepancies can be caused by fractures that affect the limb’s growth plates, as well as congenital deformations and infections. Approximately 100 South Florida children per year require treatment for limb discrepancies.
The new method also has potential for children with dwarfism or short stature to help increase height. Both limbs can be treated concurrently with the internal technology, offering a height increase of two to three inches per treatment. For some patients, this might be considered a cosmetic procedure.
The PRECICE remote-controlled leg limb lengthening system – developed by Ellipse Technologies, Inc., of Irvine, California – is implanted through a minimally invasive method. Once in place, the technology can be used to lengthen the femur (thigh bone) and/ or tibia (shin bone) incrementally over the course of several weeks to attain the prescribed length.
“For children who are candidates for this technology, it can offer a tremendous benefit. The traditional technology requires use of an external fixator that is mounted on the exterior of the affected leg for several months while treatment is underway, inhibiting movement,” said Dr. Iobst. “The PRECICE system is more comfortable and cosmetically appealing, as it is completely concealed throughout treatment.”
Treatment with the PRECICE system lasts approximately four to six months, with removal of the rod occurring approximately a year after implantation. Treatment will vary depending on the patient’s needs.
About Dr. Christopher Iobst
Dr. Iobst received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine. He completed his orthopaedic surgery residency at Medical University of South Carolina followed by a fellowship in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at The Children’s Hospital in Boston (Harvard). He specializes in the correction of limb deformities and limb length discrepancies.
In April of 2007 Dr. Iobst was the recipient of the 2007 St. Giles Young Investigator Award by the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America.
In 2010 Dr. Iobst was chosen as the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America Travelling Fellow to Europe. Dr. Iobst has been the chairman of the LLRS Specialty Day Meeting at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons the past two years. He is currently the secretary of the Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society of North America. Dr. Iobst has also trained in limb reconstruction with external fixation, external and internal combination fixation techniques and the all-internal lengthening devices.
About Miami Children's Hospital
Founded in 1950 by Variety Clubs International, Miami Children's Hospital® is South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, with more than 650 attending physicians and over 130 pediatric subspecialists. The 289-bed hospital is renowned for excellence in all aspects of pediatric medicine with specialty programs ranked among the best in the nation in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 by U.S.News & World Report. The hospital is also home to the largest pediatric teaching program in the southeastern United States and has been designated an American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet facility, the nursing profession’s most prestigious institutional honor.
About Ellipse Technologies
Ellipse Technologies, Inc. is a privately-held medical device company located in Irvine, California. The Company is focused on the development and commercialization of its implantable remote control technology platforms to include innovative and state-of-the-art treatments for a broad spectrum of spinal and orthopedic deformity applications, orthopedic trauma and fracture management. For more information about Ellipse, please visit their website at www.ellipse-tech.com.