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Limb Lengthening Program

Guiding Your Child's Proper Growth

Have you noticed your child walking with a limp or an abnormal gait? It’s possible his or her legs could be different lengths or have grown abnormally. While many people’s bodies aren’t perfectly symmetrical, a significant difference between leg lengths is a treatable condition called leg length discrepancy (LLD). Children with legs whose knees touch, but not their ankles have a condition called knock knees, or genu valgum. If your child has been diagnosed with LLD or knock knees, limb lengthening may be an option for correction. Untreated, a larger limb deformity can lead to back, hip and knee problems.

Care Designed for Your Child

You have several treatment options for LLD and knock knees, depending on the amount of correction needed. Doctors with the Limb Lengthening Program at Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children will narrow down the right method of correction for you and your child. Options include:

  • Guided growth: Orthopedic surgeons slow the growth of the longer leg so that the shorter leg has time to “catch up.” This can also be used to correct knock knees, slowing down the growth of a specific side of the leg that is causing angular growth. Guided growth offers a quick recovery time after surgery.
  • Spatial framing: Framing the leg with an Ilizarov device slowly lengthens the bone. This process takes months to complete and is a very involved process. Framing is suggested for children with a more significant LLD.
  • Shortening of the leg: This can be accomplished by stopping the growth in the long leg with a minor procedure.

Aided Recovery with Technology

No matter which method is chosen, your child will be treated with the most advanced care and technology possible. Our facility houses the EOS Imaging System, the only low-radiation body imaging system in Central Florida. When constant monitoring of bones is needed, X-rays are frequent. However, EOS offers a reduced radiation option to ensure your child’s safety.

After treatment, your child will not be alone. We offer comprehensive outpatient programs, including physical therapy and other pediatric rehabilitative services. We’ll follow your child’s condition from diagnosis through recovery.

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