Limb Lengthening Surgery Cost in India

Last Modified: March 15, 2022  |   Created on: January 16, 2022
Orthopedics
  • Limb lengthening surgery is a procedure that aims to correct the unequal length or size of the patient’s legs and arms, including the humerus, radius/ulna, femur, tibia, and metatarsals. 
  • The surgery is performed on an inpatient basis and can last for 2 to 3 hours, and the lengthening process takes about three months.
  • Limb lengthening is performed more commonly among patients in the age of 18 to 25
  • The average limb lengthening surgery cost in India starts from 2000 USD (INR 153,000). Patients save as much as 30 to 40% of the overall treatment cost if they travel to India over the UK, the US, or even Europe. 
  • The recovery for limb lengthening surgery in India has two different phases – The Distraction phase and the Consolidation phase. 
  • The success rate for limb lengthening surgery in top hospitals across India is 95%.
Limb-lengthening-surgery-cost-in-india

Limb lengthening surgery is a procedure that aims to correct the unequal length or size of the patient’s legs and arms, including the humerus, radius/ulna, femur, tibia, and metatarsals. Patients suffering from certain birth defects, cerebral palsy, bone injury, poliomyelitis, and other reasons may have one leg that’s abnormally short compared to the other one.

The surgery is performed more commonly among patients in the age of 18 to 25, an age group where the bones have grown to their maximum capacity. The procedure can also be performed on adults if they have a leg length difference of a least two centimeters.

Limb lengthening surgery is a gradual process that takes around months to yield successful results. Therefore, traveling to countries like the USA, the UK, or even Europe can prove to be quite expensive. Limb lengthening surgery cost in India is an affordable option that helps patients save as much as 30 to 40% of the original treatment prices. 

Cost of limb lengthening surgery in India

Average cost of limb lengthening surgery in India

Number of days in the hospital

Number of days outside the hospital

Total days in India

2000-5000 USD

3

45

60 Days

The factors that may influence the cost of undergoing limb lengthening surgery in India are:

  • Type and location of the hospital
  • The expertise of the orthopedic surgeon
  • Desired increase in length

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How does limb lengthening surgery work?

  • Limb lengthening surgery is a procedure that utilizes the body’s capacity to form new bones. The surrounding soft tissue, nerves, and blood vessels gradually stretch and increase the length of the limb. 
  • The limb bone is cut, and the surgeon implants a metallic lengthening device into the bone. The metal device slowly increases the space between the bone. 
  • As the bone continues to distract, new bone cells are generated by the body to fill up the newly formed space. 
  • The length of the bone increases at a rate of about 1 mm/day until the desired length is achieved. 
  • Bone distraction can be achieved in two different ways, including the use of an:
  1. External Fixator – As the name suggests, the frame sits outside the limb connected to the bone through pins, wires, and some screws. It allows the surgeon to adjust the space between the two parts of the bones from the outside. 
  2. Internal lengthening nail – Unlike the external fixator, an internal lengthening nail is inserted into the bone marrow cavity. The nail is motorized and can be controlled with a remote control device. The nail has a magnet that can be rotated through this device, causing it to elongate and slowly increase the length of the bone. 
  • The metal lengthening device stays in place even after the desired length has been achieved. It helps the newly formed and elongated bone to heal and solidify. 
  • Afterward, the device is surgically removed from the patient’s body in an outpatient procedure. 

Limb lengthening surgery in India

1. Before the treatment

In order to undergo limb lengthening surgery in India, a patient needs to follow a few instructions before arriving in the country. These include:

  • Avoid drinking and smoking at least one month before the procedure. 
  • Avoid the use of recreational drugs like cocaine.
  • Avoid the intake of any form of medication, herbal concoctions, and blood-thinners like Aspirin. 
  • Follow a healthy and active lifestyle to increase the chances of recovery post-surgery. 

2. Arrival in India

  • As soon as the patient lands in India, the first step is to undergo a comprehensive evaluation by an experienced orthopedic surgeon. 
  • The surgeon will evaluate the patient’s condition and eligibility to appear for the surgery. A patient will also be advised to undergo a few blood tests before the surgery. These tests can be also be conducted before arriving in India, depending on the patient’s preference. 
  • After the surgeon deems the patient to be eligible for the procedure, the date of the surgery is scheduled. 
  • Limb lengthening surgery is performed on an inpatient basis and can last for 2 to 3 hours, and the lengthening process takes about three months.
  • The surgery is performed in two parts: osteotomy and limb stabilization. 
  • The first part of the surgery involves making a cut in the bone that needs to be lengthened. Whereas, the second part of the surgery involves stabilization of the limb with an external fixator or an internal lengthening nail. 

3. After the surgery

  • The patient will stay in the hospital for at least three days after the surgery. 
  • The surgeon may also place a cast on the limb to provide additional support in the newly operated area.
  • The patient will receive inpatient rehabilitation during their hospital stay for mobility. 
  • The limb lengthening procedure begins a week after the surgery. The period starting from the day of the surgery to the onset of the limb lengthening procedure is called the latency period.
  • During the latency period, the newly cut bone will form a callus to prevent further damage.

How can Lyfboat assist you getting Limb Lengthening Surgery in India?

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Lyfboat is a free advisory platform; we do not charge any fees from patients. In fact, we negotiate the price that Indian hospitals offer. In some cases we are able to reduce the cost by negotiating upto 20% of what Hospitals generally offer. We advise the best treatment from the top hospital/surgeon at best price.

Recovery for limb lengthening surgery in India

The recovery for limb lengthening surgery in India has two different phases – The Distraction phase and the Consolidation phase. 

1. Distraction phase

  • The distraction phase begins with pulling apart the bone that was cut with the help of a fixation device. This promotes distraction osteogenesis, a process where the pressure applied to the bone encourages new growth in the bone. 
  • This growth continues as the gap between the two parts of the bone increases by ¼ mm four times a day. This step is repeated until the desired length of the limb is achieved. 
  • The patient can expect an approximate increase of 1 inch or 2.5 cm in a month. 
  • The patient will use a walker or crutch to move around in case they have undergone a leg-lengthening surgery. They will also be advised to attend physical therapy 2 to 5 times a week. 
  • Regular follow-ups with a doctor will be scheduled to track the progress of bone healing, usually with a gap of a week or two. The doctor will also evaluate if the surrounding nerves and tissue are responding properly to the lengthening process. 
  • The distraction phase will differ for each patient depending on the desired length they wish to achieve. 

2. Consolidation phase

  • The consolidation phase marks the second phase of the recovery. It can also be designated as a healing phase where the bone begins to harden and completely heal. 
  • The patient will be able to put more weight on their limb and begin with their normal activities during the consolidation phase. 
  • The patient will continue with physical therapy to bring out the best results from the surgery. Physical therapy focuses on proper joint mobility, range of motion, and strength.
  • The limb lengthening device will stay in or outside the limb throughout the consolidation phase. 
  • The consolidation phase lasts twice long as the distraction phase. If the patient spent 60 days in the distraction phase, the consolidation phase lasts 120 days. 

Life after limb lengthening surgery in India

Coping with the recovery

  • The recovery for a limb lengthening procedure in India can be a tiring process. The distraction of the newly cut bone, the healing, and the formation of the new bone occur simultaneously over a period of few weeks. 
  • The healing time for the bone depends on the amount of limb lengthening; 1 cm of lengthening requires approximately 6 weeks of healing. 
  • The patient will be required to visit the hospital to adjust the lengthening device. They will also need to keep the external pins or screws clean to avoid any chances of infection.
  • The doctor will also advise the patient to take vitamin D3 supplements to aid bone growth and healing.
  • It is important for the patient to show compliance with all the post-op instructions for a smoother recovery period. Other recommendations for optimal recovery may include:
  1. Maintain a healthy diet and weight
  2. Take adequate rest
  3. Stay hydrated
  4. Attend regular physical therapy
  5. Maintain an active lifestyle to prevent the blood-clot formation
  6. Keep a notice of change in sensation or color around the treated area.
  7. Avoid staying in one position for too long, including lying down, sitting, or standing.

Long-term Care for limb lengthening surgery

  • A residual decrease in muscle strength is common after undergoing a limb lengthening surgery. However, it doesn’t affect the patient’s ability to perform their day-to-day activities. 
  • The success rate for limb lengthening surgery in India is close to 95%, but the surgery can bring up a few complications as well. This paves way for the need for additional surgeries. 

Risks associated with limb lengthening surgery

  • Bone infection (osteomyelitis)
  • Poor bone healing
  • Bone growth restriction
  • Nerve damage
  • Injury to surrounding muscles and blood vessels

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs) about Limb Lengthening Surgery in India

1. Who can benefit from limb lengthening surgery?

A limb lengthening surgery is recommended in case of an arm or leg length discrepancy, usually more than 2cm. A difference in the length between the arms or the legs can make even basic tasks like walking or driving a big challenge.

However, many patients are also opting for this surgery to add more inches to their height. Leg lengthening surgery in India is becoming a popular procedure among Indian as well as international patients.

2. Is limb lengthening surgery risky?

The success rate of limb lengthening surgery in top Indian hospitals is extremely high. But many doctors advise the patients to refrain from getting the procedure unless it is the last option available as the surgery comes with multiple complications. The chances of infection post-surgery are very high and the patient may not always get the desirable results with just one surgery. 

3. How painful is limb lengthening surgery?

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Therefore, the patient won’t feel anything during the surgery. Although just like any other medical procedure, the surgery will leave soreness and pain in the operated area. The pain and soreness are manageable with medication prescribed by the doctor. 

4. How much Limb Lengthening is safe?

More than 3 inches of lengthening in one bone is not recommended by orthopedic surgeons owing to high complication rates. The maximum increase that a patient can have is 2-3 inches in the thigh bone (femur).

5. What is the age limit for leg lengthening surgery in India?

The limb lengthening surgery can be performed on patients between the age of 18 to 25, where the patient has experienced optimal bone growth. In rare cases, the surgery may also be performed in older adults. But if the bones don’t grow anymore, a doctor will recommend leg-shortening or leg restriction surgery.

Simran Bahia

Written By Simran Bahia

Simran Bahia is an experienced content writer with extensive research experience in Immunology and Reproductive Biology. Simran received her Bachelors in Life Sciences from Delhi University, followed by a Master's in Immunology from the Amity Institute of Virology and Immunology. Combining her love for science and writing, Simran enjoys putting a spin on standard methods of medical writing.

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