The forces which develop in the tissues during leg lengthening. A clinical study

A H Simpson, J L Cunningham, J Kenwright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Axial forces were measured during limb lengthening in a series of ten patients with varying pathologies in order to assess the mechanical characteristics of the distracted tissues and the levels of axial force to which soft tissues are subjected during leg lengthening. The pattern of force was found to vary according to the underlying pathology. For post-traumatic shortening in adults both the peak and the resting forces rose steadily during lengthening reaching maximum forces of the order of 300 N. Patients with congenitally short limbs developed very high peak forces (in some cases over 1000 N) and also showed large amounts of force relaxation (typically 400 to 500 N). When very high levels of force were recorded, there was a higher complication rate. In particular, there was a high instance of angular deformity. This occurred because the loads encountered resulted in failure of some of the external fixation frames.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-83
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery, British Volume
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1996

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Bone Lengthening
  • Connective Tissue
  • External Fixators
  • Humans
  • Leg


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