Limb shortening surgery
Limb lengthening and shortening are among the most commonly performed orthopedic surgeries worldwide. The reasons that necessitate this type of operations can be many, including health issues such as limb length discrepancy, as well as for cosmetic reasons (stature lengthening or shortening). In this article, we will specifically look into limb shortening surgery.
The most common reason to perform limb shortening operation is leg length discrepancy. There are cases in which this difference in lengths of legs can be corrected by lengthening the shorter limb. However, there are several advantages of shortening the longer limb:
• The hospitalization period is shorter. The patient is able to leave the hospital and return to normal life earlier.
• The ability to move is retained faster than in limb lengthening.
• There is lower risk for stiffness in the joints.
• The bones heal more quickly.
Who can undergo limb shortening operation?
As a rule, limb shortening can be applied to children, as well as adults, whose growth has stopped and their bones are not expected to grow longer than this.
The difference in leg length should not be too much (the maximum difference can be 5 cm).
How is limb shortening performed?
Doctor cuts the bone in the longer leg and removes excessive piece of the bone. The newly cut ends of the bone are stitched together. To provide safe and healthy healing process, the bone has to be fixated via fixator devices:
• Metal rod – this can be inserted into the bone center and can be removed one year later
• Metal plate – it is screwed onto the bone
Leg shortening risks
First thing to know is that your height will be shorter than before. But apart from this logical result, there are other risks such as:
• Muscle weakness (it is treatable with physiotherapy). According to Holm et al (1994), “Long-term loss of muscle force should be expected after a mid-shaft shortening of the femur of more than 10%”.
• Non-union of the bone (it may cause pain for a long time until heals completely)
Limb shortening surgery doctors and costs
Our surgeons are able to perform single or both limb shortening surgery, if the patient has strong reasoning behind the intention of having the operation (either a medical reason, or a strong desire and reason to become shorter in height, being aware of all risks and possible outcomes).
Limb shortening surgery (for both legs) costs 12,000 eur.
Moreover, for a healthy and smooth treatment experience, we provide the following services included in the surgery cost:
- Meeting and greeting our patients at the airports, including transportation, to and from their hotels & hospitals
- Accommodation in a 5-star hotel (1 day)
- An English-speaking caretaker who will assist our patients 24/7 during hospital stay
- A Complimentary Istanbul tour, including historical and touristic visits, boat tours and meals in our famous restaurants
- All necessary medical examinations before the surgical operation
- 5 to 7 days of hospitalization
- Physiotherapist’s assistance and all medications are covered, during the patient’s hospitalization
- Walkers, crutches & wheelchair
- Transportation to the airport upon departure
- FREE consultation with doctors and consultants, whenever the patient needs
Other things to know
• You will probably need to stay for 2-3 weeks in the hospital
• Between 6-8 weeks, you may use crutches to walk.
Regarding recovering the muscle force that patients had before operation: “After two years the quadriceps and hamstrings had recovered to within 93% and 96% of their preoperative values respectively, a change that was not statistically significant” (Barker et al, 2004)