Single Degree of Freedom Limb-Lengthening and Bone Consolidation Device
Patients with limb length inequalities or limb deformities often experience pain, limb dysfunction, and joint degeneration. Limb lengthening by distraction osteogenesis is a method in which the bone is lengthened and deformities are corrected very gradually as the bone heals. Current correctional devices include external fixators, which utilize painful bone pins and leave scars, and intramedullary nails, which have no paediatric application due to injuries caused to the growth plates. The goal of this study is to develop a prototype limb-lengthening device that is implantable and allows for callus consolidation through low magnitude high frequency loading. The proposed device rests outside of the medullary canal of the bone, and therefore allows for use in children, as well as adults, without concern for injury to the growth plates. The device functions much as an external fixator, but will not require exposed hardware (that leads to infection) and muscle penetration from the pins (that cause pain). Additionally, the device will not leave the dramatic scars from the pin sites because the device is placed inside the skin of a patient using minimally invasive techniques.
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