Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Program

When a child has a limb problem that causes pain or limping or interferes with activities, our orthopedic specialists offer treatments that can help. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is among a select few pediatric medical centers in the country offering advanced limb lengthening and reconstructive treatments for complex lower limb disorders.

Who Might Need Limb Lengthening or Reconstructive Treatments?

Our orthopedic specialists help children who have:

  • Limb length discrepancies: One limb is noticeably longer than the other limb.
  • Limb deficiencies: Part or all of a limb is missing.
  • Limb deformities: A limb is misshapen.

Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Program at CHLA: Why Choose Us

The Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Program is part of our nationally ranked Jackie and Gene Autry Orthopedic Center. Our orthopedic doctors help improve your child’s limb function, mobility and appearance. Our program has:

  • Top limb experts: Our specialists have completed multiple fellowships and have extensive training in complex limb reconstruction, giving them the experience and surgical skills to truly help children with limb disorders.
  • Comprehensive treatments: We specialize in procedures that lengthen bones and correct deformities to create limb symmetry. We also offer hip, knee and foot reconstruction for children who have congenital limb deficiencies. Find out more about our limb disorder treatments.
  • Walking gait analysis: We’re among a select few children’s hospitals in the country with an accredited Motion and Sports Analysis Lab. We evaluate your child’s walking gait to develop the most effective treatment plan. After treatment, we evaluate your child’s progress and modify treatment, if needed, to get the best results.
  • Safer diagnostic tests: Your child may need a lot of X-rays to plan for treatment and check post-treatment progress. We take 3D X-rays using the EOS low-radiation imaging system. This advanced imaging system greatly reduces your child’s exposure to potentially harmful rays.
  • Dedication to new therapies: Our doctors conduct hundreds of clinical research studies every year to find new therapies. We’re actively involved in the Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society.
  • Coordinated access to care: We schedule appointments so your family meets with several members of your child’s care team during one visit. We also provide follow-up care at countywide specialty care centers.

Family-Focused Care

Children affected by limb problems face unique challenges. We know the situation is stressful for you, too. We use a team/family-centered approach to support each of you through this time. Your family’s involvement is critical to successful outcomes. We offer:

Patient and family education

Our care team makes sure you and your child know what to expect — and what to do — after surgery to ensure treatment success. We know how to help children recovering from limb lengthening procedures. And we include your family in every step of the process so you feel confident in your child’s care plan.

Specialized physical therapy

Your child starts physical therapy the day after surgery while still in the hospital and continues therapy at home. Our physical therapists have special expertise in helping children regain function and mobility. We teach your child how to move and stay active during recovery.

On-site orthotics and prosthetics

Our orthotic and prosthetic specialists fit your child for custom-made prostheses, braces, shoe inserts and other devices, as needed. We can quickly troubleshoot any problems and make adjustments as your child grows.

Expert pain management

Our pain management specialists help keep your child comfortable. We use nonaddictive pain medications as much as possible, as well as acupuncture, biofeedback and other complementary therapies.

Insurance help

After surgery, your child needs immediate access to services like physical therapy and orthotics. To ensure there’s no delay in care, our administrative staff works with your health insurer to get approvals and streamline the process.

Limb Problems We Treat

We treat all types of limb problems, including

  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Blount disease
  • Bowlegs
  • Congenital short femur
  • Foot deformities, including clubfoot
  • Growth plate injuries
  • Hemihypertrophy 
  • Knock knees
  • Traumatic injuries