The disclosed invention represents a new approach to surgical leg lengthening using an internal device that does not require nailing. The invention consists of a telescoping plate that attaches to the upper and lower portions of the bone via screw; a small motor will be affixed on or within the plate. This motor, controlled remotely, will lengthen the plate, thus lengthening the bone. A ratchet system is used as the expansion mechanism.
This device represents a leap in viable treatment for leg lengthening in children. Currently, leg lengthening in children can only be accomplished by external fixation. External fixators are not ideal for children because pins must run from the fixator, through the skin, into the bone; these pins increase the risk for infection, and are generally hard for children to tolerate. Furthermore, children with external fixators avoid contact with others because of the stigma associated with the device. While internal lengthening nails solve the problems associated with external fixation, they cannot be used in children with open growth plates.
This invention can be used in limb reconstruction and correcting limb length discrepancy. It is less invasive than other limb-lengthening processes in use for pediatrics.
Features, Benefits, & Advantages:
• Suitable for children
• No external fixation
• No uncomfortable pins
• No nails
This technology is a part of active and ongoing research program. A prototype device has been created and is being tested.