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New Limb-Lengthening Tech May Reduce Complications for Sufferers of Crippling Deformities [Slide Show]

A move to lengthen limbs internally rather than via an external scaffold could reduce the effects of painful treatments, especially among younger patients

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ONE MORE SURGERY:

More than 30 people have been fitted with Precice technology at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore since early 2012. Although the process is painful, doctors say it is a significant improvement over other options such as the external fixator.....[ More ]

PHYSICAL THERAPY:

Renee spends months of her life in the hospital and must attend physical therapy daily or risk losing the ability to walk normally. The hour-long workouts are tough. Even simple activities that require a limited range of motion can be excruciatingly painful.....[ More ]

THE SCHEDULE:

Renee has to go into the hospital three times a day for this lengthening procedure. The process is deliberately slow to give her bone time to heal each time it is pulled farther apart.....[ More ]

HOW IT WORKS:

Renee underwent a seven-and-a-half-hour surgical procedure to implant the Precice technology. The rod inside Renee's leg contains a typical rare earth magnet attached to a gearbox. As the doctor rotates magnets in a handheld operator, magnets within Renee's leg will turn one revolution, extending a rod and effectively lengthening her leg.....[ More ]

LIMB LENGTHENING:

Erica Voss and daughter Renee, now 15-years-old: Limb lengthening is a time-consuming process. Patients must come in for multiple consultations to map their growth patterns using special software to compute the measurements.....[ More ]

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