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LifeBridge Health > News Releases > Nine-Year Old Undergoes Leg Lengthening Surgery with New Precice Plate at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore’s Rubin Institute

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For Immediate Release
9/22/2020
Helene King
410-790-3868
hking@lifebridgehealth.org
Nine-Year Old Undergoes Leg Lengthening Surgery with New Precice Plate at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore’s Rubin Institute
First-of-its-Kind Procedure designed to give young children relief from physical challenges and improve quality of life
.Baltimore, MD – A world-renowned team from the International Center for Limb Lengthening (ICLL) at Sinai Hospital’s Rubin Institute performed one of the first surgeries in the world using the groundbreaking Precice Plate on a nine-year old patient whose one leg is four inches shorter than the other leg. In the past, younger children with limb discrepancies would have to wait until their bones grew to have an internal corrective operation. Meanwhile, they lived with the adverse effects of the discrepancies on their bodies and minds. 

In this patient’s case, if he had not had this intricate surgery to equalize the length of his legs, he could have been walking with a severe limp that could have caused hip and back pain, significant curvature of the spine, abnormal pressure on the joints and painful arthritis of the hip, knee, or ankle. In addition, many children are unable to be as active or play sports. 

The ICLL is one of the first centers in the world to have access to this technology and to perform this type of surgery. Dr. John Herzenberg, founder and director of the ICLL; Dr. Shawn Standard, Head of Pediatric Orthopedics at the ICLL; and Dr. Philip McClure, assistant director of the ICLL performed their first implantation of the Precice Plate as a team on September 15, 2020. Great attention to detail was made in preoperative planning, patient selection and surgery simulation prior to the actual surgery. 

When limb lengthening procedures first began in the 1950s, external fixators were the only tool available. They have metal frames stabilize screws drilled into a limb. Those screws stick out so they can be turned to lengthen a bone. It can be painful.

Then Dr. John Herzenberg and Dr. Shawn Standard were part of the team that invented the pioneering internal Precice nail, first used in the United States in 2011. That internal nail is surgically implanted and lengthens a bone painlessly using a remote-control magnet that sits on the leg. 

  However, very young children were not able to use the Precice nail because their bones are too small to accommodate it without damaging their bones. That’s why Dr. Standard and Dr.  Herzenberg were again part of a team that developed the new groundbreaking Precice Plate. It can be implanted in pediatric patients as young as three or four so their bones can be painlessly lengthened, and they don’t have to begin their journey with an external fixator. A remote controller is used with the Precice Plate as well. With this procedure, it usually takes several months for the legs to become equal in length.
 
International Center for Limb Lengthening
The International Center for Limb Lengthening (ICLL) in Baltimore, Maryland is a global leader in limb lengthening and deformity correction, providing comprehensive orthopedic treatment to children and adults from all 50 states and more than 60 countries.

Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics
The Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics is home to some of the world's most renowned orthopedic surgeons who provide state-of-the-art orthopedic services for children and adults. Its programs include the International Center for Limb Lengthening, the Center for Joint Preservation and Replacement



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