Experienced Orthopedic Surgeon Serving San Joaquin County, & San Francisco Bay Area

Elective Limb Lengthening

A spinal cord stimulator (SCS) is a device that is implanted in the body to relieve pain. SCS works by sending electrical pulses to the spinal cord. These pulses block pain signals from reaching the brain.

Orthopedic Surgery

Elective Limb Lengthening Surgery

Elective limb lengthening surgery, also known as cosmetic limb lengthening or aesthetic limb lengthening, is a specialized surgical procedure designed to increase the length of the limbs. This procedure is primarily sought by individuals who desire to enhance their height or correct limb length discrepancies for aesthetic purposes.

Limb lengthening surgery involves the controlled distraction of bone segments, allowing new bone tissue to form and gradually elongate the limb. It is a complex and meticulous procedure that requires the expertise of an experienced orthopedic surgeon specializing in limb lengthening techniques.

The surgery typically involves three main stages: the surgical osteotomy, the distraction phase, and the consolidation phase.

During this stage, the orthopedic surgeon makes a precise incision and carefully cuts the bone to create a controlled fracture. The surgeon ensures proper alignment and fixation of the bone segments using specialized devices, such as intramedullary nails or external fixators.

Following the osteotomy, a gradual lengthening process begins. The patient or their caregiver adjusts the external fixator or internal lengthening device in small increments, typically a few millimeters each day. This controlled distraction stimulates new bone formation and gradually increases the length of the limb.

After the desired limb length has been achieved, the distraction phase is followed by a consolidation phase. During this period, the bone gradually hardens and strengthens through the natural healing process. It is crucial to follow the surgeon’s instructions for weight-bearing, physical therapy, and regular follow-up visits to monitor the healing progress.
Elective limb lengthening surgery requires careful consideration and realistic expectations. It is essential to understand that this procedure involves a significant commitment of time and effort. The entire process, including the distraction and consolidation phases, can take several months to a year or more depending on the desired lengthening goal.
Dr. Morteza Farr -Experience Orthopedic Surgeon serving Northern California

Why Limb Lengthening Surgery?

Elective limb lengthening is a surgical procedure that is used to increase the length of a limb. Elective limb lengthening is most commonly used to correct limb length discrepancy, which is a condition in which one limb is shorter than the other.

Benefits of Spinal Cord Stimulator Placement

While individual outcomes may vary, many patients report significant pain relief, improved joint function, and enhanced tissue healing following PRP injections. It is important to note that the full effects of PRP treatment may take time to manifest, as the body’s healing process progresses gradually. Multiple sessions of PRP injections may be recommended, depending on the severity and nature of the condition being treated.

Risks of Orthopedic Surgery

Elective limb lengthening surgery, like any surgical procedure, carries potential risks and complications. It is important to be aware of these risks before considering the surgery. Some of the potential risks associated with elective limb lengthening surgery include:

Some of the potential risks include:

There is a risk of infection at the surgical site or within the bone. Infections may require antibiotic treatment or, in severe cases, additional surgery.

 The surgical procedure and the gradual distraction of bone can cause varying degrees of pain and discomfort. Pain management techniques and medications are typically prescribed to alleviate discomfort during the recovery process.

There is a slight risk of damage to nerves or blood vessels during the surgical procedure. This can lead to temporary or, in rare cases, permanent sensory or motor deficits.

Occasionally, the bone may take longer than expected to heal or may not unite completely, resulting in a non-union. This may require additional interventions such as bone grafting or revision surgery.

Following limb lengthening surgery, there is a risk of joint stiffness or limited range of motion in the affected limb. Physical therapy and rehabilitation play a crucial role in minimizing these risks and restoring optimal function.

The use of external fixators or internal lengthening devices carries potential risks such as pin site infections, loosening or failure of the devices, irritation or discomfort caused by the devices, and the need for additional procedures for removal.

Occasionally, patients may experience side effects or stimulation that is not entirely desirable. These can include sensations such as tingling, buzzing, or muscle twitching. Adjustments to the device settings can often help alleviate these effects.

 It is important to consider the potential psychological impact of the procedure, as the recovery period can be challenging, and the changes in body image and expectations may affect an individual’s emotional well-being. Psychological support and counseling may be beneficial during the recovery process.

It is crucial to have a thorough discussion with an experienced orthopedic surgeon who specializes in limb-lengthening procedures. They will evaluate your specific situation, discuss the potential risks and benefits, and help you make an informed decision. The surgeon will provide personalized guidance on pre-operative preparation, surgical techniques, and post-operative care to minimize the risks and optimize your recovery.


Elective limb lengthening surgery is a complex procedure that requires careful consideration and realistic expectations. By understanding the potential risks and complications, you can make an informed decision and work closely with your healthcare team to achieve the desired outcomes.

Choosing The Right Orthopedic Surgeon

If you are considering elective limb lengthening surgery, it is essential to have realistic expectations and a clear understanding of the procedure and its potential risks. Consulting with an experienced orthopedic surgeon specializing in limb lengthening will provide you with the necessary information and guidance to make an informed decision. Together, you can explore the options and determine the most suitable course of action to achieve your desired aesthetic goals.

Orthopedic Surgery