Leg-lengthening surgery - Is it worth the risk?
You can’t imagine how hurtful it is when the doctor breaks your bones apart and inserts some pins and screws into them. Your muscles, blood vessels, and nerves are also stretched along the bone. That causes agonizing pain for not only your body but also your mind. Those pains will go on for a very long time. You have no choice but to suffer from the after-effects. However, don’t think about painkillers! Due to their inhibiting effects on bone growth, painkillers are used to an absolute minimum.
As mentioned above, you have no alternative but to tolerate extreme agony after the medical operation. As a result, you can go through a long period of sleep loss and self-irritability. You can’t move around as you would like and everything you want to do must be supported by your beloved family members or relatives. You can even feel regretful for going for the operation.
Not all of us can afford it. It costs around $90,000 in the US and $15,000-$60,000 in other countries. The surgery fee will be higher for covering unexpected side effects. In a more severe scenario, your husband or wife has to stop working to take care of you. Unless you possess a large sum of money in your savings account, be well-prepared because you’ll probably make no money within a year for not working.
It takes your bones 3-4 months to reach the desired length. They grow just 1 mm a day. A bone that is lengthened by 7-8 cm takes more time to heal than a bone stretched by 5-6 cm. During that time, all you have to do is lay in bed and endure the pain and discomfort. Then, you’ll have 3-6 months of physical therapy, which is also very painful. Your body really needs time to build a large number of new bones, muscles, nerves, and flesh.
Such a life-changing surgery may come with a wide range of possible complications like bone infection, nerves, blood vessel injuries, delayed bone healing, and unequal lengthening, etc.
Bone infection: During the leg-lengthening procedure, your legs will be clamped by specialized equipment. If not taken care of carefully, you can have a high risk of nasty infection and end up having more surgeries to prevent the worse situation from happening.
Nerve and blood vessel injuries: In order to attach the fixator to the bone without affecting the nerves and blood vessels, the doctors will use pins and wires. However, we can’t be 100 percent sure there will be no risk of injuring a nerve or blood vessel.
Blood clot: This complication can happen after the surgical procedure and unluckily when it does, the clot can travel up to the lung, which causes serious problems to your breathing.
Delayed bone healing: At times, bones heal very slowly, which makes your time of wearing the frame longer than expected. As a result, you will experience a longer period of disturbed sleep or insomnia. Lying in bed and thinking about the day of going back to school or work, you’ll probably feel downhearted.
Unequal legs and body disproportion: One of the unpleasant consequences you can suffer when you undergo this kind of surgery is unequal legs and a badly-proportioned body. Your left leg can grow faster than your right one, which makes it annoying for you to move daily. It will be hard to design your new clothes when the parts of your body are not well-proportioned. You definitely must go through another operation to fix this woe, hence more time and money will be spent.
Physical inactivity: Whether you want it or not, your movements will be affected because of the big change to the muscles. It is not easy for you to maintain an active lifestyle. You won’t ever be able to try sprinting or wrestling in which you must use tremendous force from your legs. They’re not as strong as they used to be.
High blood pressure: During the procedure, your legs suffer a lot. Some people with sensitive muscles can get high blood pressure. You might even think of asking for your original legs back!
Some other sufferings you can experience are weight loss, leg stiffness, inflexibility, poor appetite, brain fog, and pre-allergies to anesthetics or any type of medicine.
Now, it’s TIME for you to answer this question: Are you brave enough to give it a try?
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