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Leg lengthening is a surgery which can lengthen bones. If the leg is also deformed, it can be straightened at the same time. Most commonly, this procedure is used to correct large limb length discrepancies. Sometimes, this process needs to be done several times to ensure the legs are the same length. The risks include stiffness in the surrounding joints and possible infections at the location of the wires and pins.
During surgery, the doctor applies something called an external fixator to the leg. This fixator is a frame, which is attached to the bones by wires or pins. The surgeon then makes a small break in the bone. By turning a dial that is on the frame in tiny increments over time, it creates tension on the bone, and the bone lengthens. The rate of lengthening is usually about 1mm per day. This process of lengthening begins 5–10 days after the surgery.
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