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Lengthening: Risks


Risks are not minor as it is a long surgery involving the structure of the body (bones) and also function (joints and muscles), contrarily to other surgeries of soft superficial tissues like in cosmetic surgeries where structure and function are not involved. According to the type of lengthening, risks varies, e.g. in unilateral or bilateral lengthening, large gains (dwarfism) or smaller gains (cosmetic), etc. Psychological implications or complications should not be undervalued.

Risks of lengthening:

Thorough research on the subject by the patient is advisable. Full explanation and informed consent will explain precise risks, which are lower in Dr. Guichet's practice, because he developed the techniques and makes all improvements available to his patients right away. He is creating new standards of quality in limb lengthening. Nails cause fewer complications than external fixation, but it is nevertheless necessary to know the major traditional risks:

  • Pain is constant, but lower than for external fixators. Patients who had prior external fixators have been very clear about this
  • Infection (rare with nails, especially femoral)
  • Joint stiffness
  • Muscle stiffness or lesions, necessitating a good preparation
  • Early/premature bone fusion or absence/delay of bone fusion
  • Bone or material fracture
  • Paralysis (not yet observed in the statistics of femoral lengthening by Dr. Guichet)
  • Vascular, skin problems, weight loss, psychological or mental depression, etc.

Professional job impairment may be important, however much lower than with external fixator.

To date, in the femoral lengthening in the practice of Dr. Guichet, no deep infection (osteitis, osteomyelitis), or final stiffness, or paralysis has occurred.

Unilateral Arrow
Bilateral - Dwarfism Arrow
Bilateral - Cosmetic Arrow
Psychological risks Arrow