About the disease
Short leg and limb syndrome is a condition when one leg is shorter than another one. In the medical world it is known as Limb Length Discrepancy. Most often short legs and limbs happen as a result of a congenital abnormality, when the child did not develop properly as fetus. It can also appear as the result of injury during the birth when one hip of the child was displaced and later did not develop properly. In rare cases surgery on the limb or knee can make the leg, which was operated on, shrink a little bit. Almost 80% of all cases of short leg and limb syndrome are congenital or appeared right after the birth. Apart from the esthetic problem, a short leg can cause other health problems, which include pain in the back and pelvic floor, spinal curvatures, unbalanced gait and even improper chewing. Pain in the back happens because of the pressure on the leg, which is stronger in one leg than another.
There is also such phenomena as compensation, when body of the patient works extra hard to compensate for unequal size of the legs. During such compensation body creates additional pressure on the ankles, knees, and limbs to make them function properly and thus a patient feels pain.
- Inability to walk for long periods of time
- Poor balance
- Inflammation and pain in the lower leg
- Pain in the knee
- During physical examination an orthopedist will measure the size of your leg and limb to determine how much is discrepancy in cm.
- X-Ray of the leg is used to obtain the image of the leg and see if there are fractures or other impairments in leg joints.
- MRI or CT scan of the leg are also used to get more precise image of the leg.
Short legs and limbs syndrome needs to be treated in the childhood to avoid problems with the growth of the child and ensure that his/her development is normal in future.
- Bone lengthening surgery is a procedure during which the bone which will later be lengthened is cut and removed, the metal plate is implanted and then the bone is moved back, where it will be attached to the pins.
- Leg lengthening surgery with nail FITBONE ® SAA during which a surgeon uses a nail, which can lengthen the limb of the femur and tibia. Fitbone @SAA is surgically implanted into the short leg and after that it needs to be worn until the leg is lengthened to the normal size of the other leg.
After the surgery a child will have to undergo lengthy physical therapy to create the same pressure on both legs and retain the normal walking function.