Chicago birth injury attorneysCerebral palsy can have a profound impact on a child’s growth and development. As a parent of a child with cerebral palsy, you are probably constantly looking into ways to improve your child’s quality of life. Although surgery is often considered a last resort, several surgical procedures have been shown to improve mobility, pain, and overall functioning in children with cerebral palsy. Limb-lengthening or leg-lengthening surgery is an orthopedic surgery that corrects leg abnormalities or length discrepancies. This procedure may help a child with cerebral palsy with walking and movement, but the procedure is also associated with several risks.

How Does Leg-Lengthening Work?

Many children with cerebral palsy have legs that are different lengths. This can make walking very difficult and painful. Leg-lengthening surgery involves cutting the leg bone and allowing the body to form new bone so that the leg is longer than it was before the surgery. This is typically accomplished by inserting a metal device inside of the leg that slowly increases the space between the leg bones that were surgically separated. The body will then naturally fill in the space with bone over time.

What Are the Benefits of Leg-Lengthening for Cerebral Palsy Sufferers?

Having legs of two different lengths often causes pain in the back, hips, legs, and feet. Leg discrepancies may also accelerate joint deterioration. Limb-lengthening surgeries have about a 95 percent success rate. The procedure may correct leg discrepancies and misalignment that make it harder for children with cerebral palsy to get around. It may also reduce pain and slow the weakening of the joints.

What Risks Are Associated with Leg-Lengthening?

Most doctors only recommend limb-lengthening surgery and other surgical interventions if non-invasive treatments like physical therapy and medication have proven insufficient. Leg-lengthening is a very gradual process and may require multiple operations and several months of recovery. It is estimated that each centimeter of additional leg bone equates to about 36 days of healing. The possible risks include nerve damage, bone infections, and injury to the leg muscles and vessels. If you are curious about whether leg-lengthening may be right for your child, discuss this option with your child’s doctors to learn more.

Contact a Chicago Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

Leg-lengthening surgery may reduce pain and improve mobility in children with cerebral palsy. If your child’s cerebral palsy was the result of an avoidable birth injury or another form of medical negligence, you may be able to obtain compensation for your child’s surgeries and other medical needs. To learn more, contact an Illinois birth injury attorney from Birth Injury Law Alliance. Call 312-945-1300 for a free consultation.



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