Limb lengthening surgery is a technique that focuses on fixing the patient's legs and arms' unequal lengths or sizes, including the radius/ulna, tibia, humerus, femur, and metatarsals. Patients with birth anomalies, bone injury, poliomyelitis, cerebral palsy, and other causes may have one leg that is abnormally short compared to the other.
Successful limb lengthening surgery is a long process that takes several months to complete. As a result, visiting nations like the USA, UK, or even Europe can be rather expensive. The cost of limb lengthening surgery in India is a reasonable choice that enables people to save up to 30–40% off the cost of the initial medical care. Health insurance covers limb lengthening surgery in specified cases.
Defining The Limb Lengthening Surgery
Limb lengthening operations aid in the replacement of missing bones. It also entails extending and straightening the distorted bones, which are frequently caused by hereditary flaws or accidents. The operation has emerged as a popular choice for many people who seek to correct the hereditary or unintentional deformity of their limbs. It can repair complex malformations.
The procedure is most often performed on patients aged 18 to 25 when the bones have reached their maximal capacity. Adults with a leg length difference of at least two cm can also undergo the operation.
How Much Will Limb Lengthening Surgery Cost in India?
Limb lengthening surgery in India might cost between INR 1.5 lakhs and INR 8.5 lakhs due to its rising popularity. If performed at a private facility, the price in India's major cities might range from INR 4.95 lakhs to INR 6.11 lakhs. With a 95% success rate, the procedure is particularly well-liked by those who might require limb lengthening.
What is the Affordability of Limb Lengthening Surgery in India?
If patients receive limb strengthening in India instead of other nations like the US, the UK, or Europe, they can save between 30 and 40 percent on their entire medical expenses. The price will vary depending on your individual needs or the length you want.
The type of hospital, such as public or private, is another element influencing the cost of the procedure. The price of the limb-lengthening procedure will also depend on the credentials and reputation of the performing surgeon.
Due to its comparatively lower price, many foreigners select India for this operation. However, the price is still high and difficult for many Indians to afford this surgery. Fortunately, if the operation is performed to return the insured's limbs to normal function, many health insurance policies will pay for it.
What Situations Call for Limb Lengthening?
Uneven limbs can occur due to various reasons, the most common of which include some congenital malformations, bone trauma, cerebral palsy, polio, etc. These may be congenital, developmental, or malformations brought on by bone infections, rheumatoid arthritis, fractures, or tumours.
It is sometimes referred to as "bone-lengthening surgery" because it has become common for people to want to become taller. Through several surgical techniques, the surgery aids the client in achieving improved bone alignment and joint function. These include two different kinds of corrections, i.e., acute and gradual correction. Acute correction means cutting the bone (osteotomy) and moving the individual bone segments by hand. A gradual correction promotes bone development by applying strain during osteotomy.
Different lengths of the arms or lower legs might result from limb length discrepancies or LLD. A 4 cm disparity between the lengths of the legs can produce short leg syndrome, making walking uncomfortable and leading to poor posture and back pain.
Does Health Insurance Cover the Limb Lengthening Procedure?
Yes, limb lengthening is covered by various health insurance plans in India, but only when it is medically necessary. Most health insurance companies consider this a cosmetic surgery, which is an outright exclusion.
Limb disparities brought on by fractures sustained in an accident are covered because they require restorative medical care. These are essential to the covered person's survival. There is no waiting period in the case of these restorative surgeries, so the patient can receive the necessary procedure right away.
If you pay an additional premium, some insurers will additionally cover the costs of bone-lengthening surgery that would raise your height. It is advised that you enquire with your insurer about the coverage since not all health insurance policies provide this benefit.
What is the Process of Limb Lengthening Surgery?
- The process of limb lengthening surgery makes use of the body's ability to create new bones. Blood vessels, nerves, and soft tissue in the area gradually enlarge and lengthen the limb.
- The surgeon cuts the limb bone, then inserts a metallic extending device into the bone. The metal object gradually widens the gap between the bones.
- The body produces new bone cells to replace the empty space as the bone continues to distort.
- Until the bone reaches the desired length, it grows at a pace of around 1 mm every day.
- There are two techniques to divert the bones, one of which is by using:
- External Fixator: As the name implies, this device attaches to the bone with pins, wires, and a few screws while sitting outside the affected limb. It enables the surgeon to change the distance between the two bones' halves externally.
- An internal lengthening nail, as opposed to an external fixator, is introduced into the bone marrow cavity. A remote control device can be used to operate the motorised nail. The gadget features a magnet that the nail may revolve around, lengthening the nail and gradually lengthening the bone.
Most hereditary or developmental abnormalities can have their uneven limbs easily repaired medically. It is vital to have a health insurance policy so that, should the need arise, you can manage financial emergencies with ease. But remember, the coverage applies when it is medically necessary and not otherwise.
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