What are the chances of a shortened leg after a trauma surgery?

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Posted on Tue, 9 Jun 2015 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: I had trauma surgery after a car wreck in 2000. The compound-fractured tibia never healed over a six-month period. A second surgery was intended to jump-start healing with a bone graft. Once inside, the surgeon discovered that the previously placed titanium rod was so long, the ends of the fracture were not even touching. That was corrected with a shorter rod and the bone did heal. However, one leg is shorter than the other. 15 years later, I have major pain, Question: Is it common for emergency-room trauma surgery involving leg bones to result in one leg being shorter than the other? Second question: Is there anything to be done about it now? Thanks.
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Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Surgery can correct the limb length.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
In emergency room trauma surgery, it is not usual to have one leg shorter than the other. This can also happen due to a delayed healing. The mild shortening like you have can cause pain after so many years due to osteoarthritis. Increasing the heel length can help in correcting the deformity. Taking calcium supplements will help.
The only way to correct the limb length is to do a limb lengthening surgery after removing the titanium rod that was implanted. You can discuss about this option with your surgeon if the pain is severe.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Answered by
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Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 12050 Questions

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