Guided Growth Surgery for Limb Deformities

Guided Growth Surgery for Limb Deformities


Limb length discrepancies and angular deformities
can affect your mobility and, over time, can lead to joint problems or arthritis. Surgery can help protect your joints and correct
these limb deformities over time. One of those techniques is Guided Growth Surgery,
also called Epiphysiodesis. Guided Growth Surgery is a procedure that
temporarily or permanently delays growth at the growth plate to normalize or even-out
long bones. Your care team will use your growth charts
to estimate your future growth and determine what type of surgery is best for you. Guided growth plates, which are figure-eight
shaped metal plates about the size of a paper clip, are used when the growth of a limb needs
to be slowed or stopped temporarily. These plates work by spanning the growth plate
and locking the bone on either side in place. For a limb length discrepancy, plates are
positioned on either side of the longer limb. This locks the growth of the longer limb,
allowing the shorter limb to catch up over time. For an angular deformity, plates are typically
positioned on one side of the growth plate, allowing the other side to continue growing
and correct the angle over time. Different types of implants are used depending
on the location of the condition to minimize discomfort and maximize movement while the
implant is in place. Follow up surgery will be needed to remove
the plates and screws. Your surgeon will use imaging and your estimated
growth to determine when the plates need to be taken out. Once they are removed, your limbs will continue
to grow. In some cases, your surgeon may want to permanently
stop one limb from growing at all to allow the other limb to catch up. In this case, your surgeon will remove all
or part of a growth plate from the longer limb. Over time, the shorter limb will grow to catch
up, evening or straightening both limbs to match. Follow up x-rays are needed to monitor your
progress as your limbs are corrected over time. After guided growth surgery, you should have
improved mobility and will be able to continue doing the activities you enjoy. To make an appointment with one of our providers,
call us at the Children’s Hospital Colorado Orthopedics Institute.

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