Limb Lengthening Recovery Services

Physical Therapy

Limb lengthening is not typically performed during an operation, rather the operation at the International Limb Lengthening Institute is performed to enable distraction osteogenesis which is the growth of new bone that occurs when bone is stabilized, divided and then slowly distracted over time.  The growth of bone occurs quite predictably and there are no objective limitations on how much a bone can be lengthened.  One of the biggest challenges with bone lengthening is accommodating skin, nerves, vessels, tendons, muscles and other soft tissues which must lengthen as well.  This is where the importance of physical therapy comes in. 

What To Expect

Depending on the bone lengthened, the cause of the condition, and the amount of length needed, various physical therapy protocols are prescribed after surgery.  The most intense protocols require physical therapy five days per week which we require to be performed by our expert physical therapists at Loma Linda University Health.  Without appropriate therapy, joint contractures and dislocations can occur which can negate all the benefits of this type of surgery if not recognized and treated proactively.

Our therapists are specifically trained in protocols involving Ilizarov reconstruction, precice nail lengthenings, and Taylor Spatial Frame cases.  We follow the protocols established at the Paley Institute where our therapists have completed training courses.  For some cases it is appropriate and more convenient to have physical therapy at other locations for geographic and/or insurance reasons.  In any case direct communication with therapists and the surgeon is essential for optimizing the results of lengthening surgery.

Orthotics and Prosthetics

We are fortunate to have our location adjacent to the Orthotics and Prosthetics Lab and School of Orthotics and Prosthetics at Loma Linda University Health. Each department uses innovative technologies to provide our patients with state of the art orthotic and prosthetic devices.  Their enthusiasm for treating people with limb deficiencies and other disabilities is exemplified by the incredible athletic accomplishments attained by many of the patients they treat.