Prevention of deformity during limb lengthening

A H Simpson, T N Gardner, M Evans, G Herling, J Kenwright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Deformity occurs frequently at the site of distraction during leg lengthening and can add to disability. The elastic and nonelastic displacements have been measured in a model that simulates leg lengthening in the laboratory. Measurements have been made for different fixator systems. The angulation in the vertical plane that occurs during leg lengthening is minimized if the distance between the bone and the fixator bar is kept as small as possible, if three screws are inserted in the proximal and distal bone fragments, and if the peak loads on the fixator are reduced by adjusting the rhythm of distraction. However, even if these precautions are taken, the results show that some fixators designed for leg lengthening will fail and lead to deformity at the osteotomy site. This may occur under the repeated cycles of high loads associated with the rises in soft tissue tension that are known to occur in certain groups of patients. This study suggests that deformity can be prevented by the proper selection of a suitable frame and the adjustment of its configuration to meet the loading requirements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-23
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number341
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


  • Bone Lengthening
  • Bone Screws
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Osteotomy
  • Postoperative Complications


Dive into the research topics of 'Prevention of deformity during limb lengthening'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this