Correcting 'bendy legs' - deformity correction

On of the earliest aims of orthopaedic surgery is to correct deformities of the upper and lower limbs. In earlier days, these deformities were the result of polio. In modern times, these are generally due to malalignment, and rarely, the residual effects of an old injury. There are two broad techniques of correcting deformities -

1. Immediate correction at the time of operation and stabilisation using a plate or rod. This technique is used where the deformity is relatively minor or moderate and is correctable at the time of the operation.

2. Gradual correction over a period of days / weeks / months.  This is indicated where the deformity is too large to correct in one operation, or bone lengthening is needed. The bone, over this period, is stabilised using an external fixator (similar to a scaffold over the leg).

I use the first technique for individuals who develop knee pain as a result of inward / outward angulation of the leg. Around the knee, these surgeries are called -

a. High Tibial Osteotomy (HTO)

b. Distal Femoral Ostetomy (DFO)

c. Gradual deformity correction and leg lengthening

The second technique is more complex and is needed for more complex deformities. It involves application of the external fixator, which has to stay on the leg for a period of time. However, the results achieved with the technique are remarkable and not achievable by other methods.

It is even possible to lengthen a bone using a frame.

If you have further questions, please contact us and I will be delighted to respond to any comments, questions or concerns.