Limb lengthening by the callotasis technique of De Bastiani and use of the Orthofix external fixator was performed on 25 femurs and tibias of 23 patients between June 1989 and March 1995 in our clinic. Twenty femoral and five tibial segments were lengthened. Simultaneous lengthening of the femur and tibia was performed in two limbs. The mean duration of follow-up was 35.4 months (range, 12 to 81 months). Age at surgery ranged from 9 to 25 years (16.4 years on average). Poliomyelitis was the most common cause (69.6%) of the leg length discrepancy. The maximal achieved lengthening was 8 cm and the shortest 4 cm, with an average of 5.11 cm (13.6% of original bone length). The mean healing index was 38.6 days/cm; the complication rate was 36%. We conclude that limb lengthening by the De Bastiani method is a satisfactory procedure for pediatric and adult patients with moderate limb-length discrepancies.
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