Bionic bone implant helps thousands of people with differences in leg length

June 11, 2019  14:17

A unique bionic implant grown inside the patient’s body will help thousands of people with joint problems, as well as those with one leg shorter than the other.

The difference in leg length is a fairly common phenomenon: in fact, the vast majority of the inhabitants of the planet have one leg shorter than the other, but in 99% of cases this difference is not visible to the eye, since it is calculated in millimeters. If one person’s leg is several centimeters shorter than the other, this significantly affects the quality of life and creates many problems.

Until recently, such defects were corrected with the help of the Ilizarov apparatus, which allows slowly and consistently increasing the length of the limbs. However, this is quite a painful and very long procedure.

Now scientists have developed a new technique, implying the installation of a bionic bone implant in a human limb. The implant, which is a titanium rod with electromagnets, is placed in a broken leg. There are also installed special screws, which can increase the length of the foot by one millimeter each day. The implant supports the bone outside as it is stretched, and thanks to this technology it is possible to achieve an effective increase in the length of the bone.

The implant surgery lasts about 90 minutes and is performed under general anesthesia.

Within six months, the implant stretches its bone until it reaches the desired length, after which the implant is removed during the second surgery.

The technique has already been successfully tested on a significant number of patients

 

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