If a bone is deformed or bent, limb-lengthening surgery can be used to straighten it. The procedure increases the length of the bone so it is used to help people who have different sized limbs.
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Will it hurt?
Immediately after surgery you may be given an epidural, or patient controlled analgesia, which allows you to press a button to feed pain-relieving drugs straight into your blood. After the initial pain has subsided you will be given pain-killing tablets. You will need to continue taking these once you are discharged from hospital.
As the bone stretches alongside the nerves, muscles and blood vessels you are likely to experience some pain. This can be relieved with painkillers or by adjusting the rate at which the nail is lengthened. Talk to your doctor if you feel the pain is too much. You should avoid taking anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen) and aspirin as they can interfere with bone healing.
How long will I need to stay in hospital?
You will normally need to stay in hospital for about a week after surgery. You will be shown how to use the handset and given physiotherapy exercises to keep your joints and muscles mobile.
Do I have to give up smoking?
Smoking is known to delay bone healing and increase the risk of complications. For this reason, you are advised to quit smoking prior to surgery. Talk to your doctor about support to help you do this.
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