We cannot repeat and emphasize enough the importance of physiotherapy and exercises during limb lengthening process. It is an essential component of a healthy leg lengthening experience. In this article, we will try to explain why it is so important to get the service of physiotherapy in limb lengthening procedure and do daily exercises.
Those who have done some research on limb lengthening surgeries should probably know that the bones are lengthened by distracting the bones on which osteotomy (surgical breaking) has been performed. As the bones become longer, all surrounding soft tissues: blood vessels, nerves, muscles, tendons are stretched. Up to a certain length gain, these tissues can tolerate the tension, however, due to the fact that most patients aim for at least 5-7 cm of height gain in one procedure, this causes tension which causes pain and limits the mobility of the legs and feet.
From the other side, we know that it is possible to train our muscles, make them stronger, larger in appearance, or more flexible by physical activities. This applies to leg lengthening as well. We can train our legs to be more flexible and adapt to the increased length of the bones, with the help of stretching exercises and physiotherapy. If no physiotherapy is done at all, the abnormal tension can cause severe pain, make it difficult and impossible to walk, and even cause nerve damage if the distraction process is carried on under this condition.
Another thing to note is, although our patients usually do exercises on their own without any external help, this has proved itself to be insufficient for a healthy limb lengthening procedure. Patients may be disciplined and consistent in their exercising, but still they may not be challenging their muscles enough with individual exercises.
A professional and experienced physiotherapist will always do the necessary thing, and force the patients in a good way to leave their comfort zones, by which the range of movements will increase.