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J Pediatr Orthop B. 2001 Jul;10(3):238-47.

Limb lengthening in short stature patients.

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Clinica Ortopedica e Traumatologica, University of Verona, Italy.


A series of 140 patients with short stature operated on for limb lengthening (80 had achondroplasia, 20 had hypochondroplasia, 20 had Turner syndrome, 10 had idiopathic short stature due to an undemonstrated cause, 5 regarded their stature as too short, and 5 had a psychopathic personality due to dysmorphophobia that had developed because of their short stature) was reviewed. All patients underwent symmetric lengthening of both femora and tibiae; 10 of these achondroplastic patients underwent lengthening of the humeri. We carried out the 580 lengthening procedures by means of three different surgical techniques: 440 callotasis, 120 chondrodiatasis and 20 mid-shaft osteotomy. In the 130 patients with a disproportionate short stature, the average gain in length was 18.2 +/- 3.93 cm: 43.8% had complications and 3.8% had sequelae; the average treatment time was 31 months. In the 10 patients with proportionate short stature, the average gain in length was 10.8 +/- 1.00 cm: 4 experienced complications and none had sequelae; the average treatment time was 21 months. Patients who underwent lengthening of the upper limbs experienced an average gain in length of 10.2 +/- 1.25 cm: the average treatment time was 9 months and none of them experienced any complications or sequelae. The authors discuss how difficult it is to achieve the benefits of this surgery: they underline the strong commitment on the part of the patients and their families, the time in the hospital, the number of operations and, above all, the severity of those permanent sequelae that occurred.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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