Advanced Technology In Leg Lengthening - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/12/04

Advanced Technology In Leg Lengthening

Fifteen year-old Kody Reed may have changed his "game" from football to basketball, but it was a change he didn't make by choice. Last season, Kody broke a section of his bone that included the growth plate during a football game.

"There for a little while we thought I wasn't ever going to be able to play again," says Reed.

That accident brought him to Dr. Joseph Davey at the University of Oklahoma.

"Unfortunately, he went through a big growth spurt, and because of that big change, one leg was growing at a lower rate, and they got mismatched," says Dr. Davey.

Dr. Davey separated the bones so that this device could be inserted. It's called an Intramedullary Skeletal Kinetic Distractor which is a two part metal rod.

"We let the bone start to heal, and as that starts to heal, we then gradually pull the bone ends apart, and when we're pulling it apart, it fills in with healing bone," says Dr. Davey.

Remember, before this new technology, patients had to wear bulky contraptions attached to the bones through the skin.

"These gradually pull apart, and we would be able to lengthen the bone," says Dr. Davey.

Kody says it was a lot easier to make a comeback with the new device.

"I'm really glad that I'm finally back in the game," says Reed.

Dr. Davey says the new bone grows to that internal device at about a millimeter a day, but with surgeries every so often to lengthen the rod, that limb can "grow" up to 3 inches in all. So far, it's only being offered at the University of Oklahoma.

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