Patient Satisfaction After Limb Lengthening With Internal and External Devices


External fixation has long been used for limb lengthening but can result in many complications, such
as tethering of the soft tissues, pain, decreased joint motion, scarring, and nerve injury. Recently, a
controllable, telescopic, internal lengthening nail was developed to address many of these issues and
hopefully improve the overall experience for the patient. The satisfaction rates of internal and external
fixation for limb lengthening were compared in 16 patients, all of whom have experienced both methods.
Thirteen out of 16 patients responded to a limb-lengthening questionnaire, developed by the authors
for this patient population. Patients preferred the internal device with respect to overall satisfaction, reduced pain, ease of physical therapy, and better cosmetic appearance. When asked which device they would prefer if another surgery was required, all patients chose the internal device. From the patients’ perspective, the internal lengthening device is an improvement over the traditional external fixator. ( Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 24(3):174–179, 2015)

Key words: external fixation, internal lengthening, limb lengthening, satisfaction

SKU: JSOA-2015-24-3-F5 Categories: , Tags: , , ,

Vikrant Landge, MD; Lior Shabtai, MD; Martin Gesheff, BS; Stacy C. Specht, MPA; and John E. Herzenberg, MD