Epiphysiodesis: correcting limb-length discrepancy



VA_blue_CVM The impacted leg was growing at a more rapid rate
It’s not uncommon for patients who have Klippel-Trenaunay affecting one leg for one leg to be longer than the other. Particularly, in my case, the impacted leg was growing at a more rapid rate than the other leg which isn’t impacted with KT. So what they had to do was go in and treat one of the growth plates. I had that surgery in the 5th grade and basically I had to learn to walk on my left knee again after the surgery, so it was almost like learning to walk again.

Erica, young adult, Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome


VA_blue_CVM It’s walking, it should be so simple
The [procedure] with the growth plate was very much necessary. I had it done in 5th grade and they timed it out perfectly, right when I was I think about to hit my growth spurt. If they hadn’t gone and treated it the time they did, right at that exact moment in time, then my left leg, which is my impacted KTS leg, would be inches longer than my other one. That would have caused all these spinal problems, all these walking difficulties and a lot more pain, so that was definitely, of course, incredibly helpful to have… I think that after the procedure was definitely a very difficult time because it’s like walking. It’s something that seems like it should come so naturally to you, so to go into the surgery being able to fully move and walk around, and then to come out kind of with a stiff leg, and having to retrain it how to walk again… It was definitely frustrating. There were definitely a lot of days where I didn’t want to get out of the hospital bed and go to the physical therapy rooms, because it’s walking, it should be so simple, but it’s not, you have to retrain the leg again afterwards, how to walk and how to move properly again. I remember back just because it did take a little while again to regain movement, so it’s a little frustrating because you just want it to go back to normal, but there’s a whole process of steps you have to go through before that can happen.

Erica, young adult, Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome


VA_blue_CVM I also had an epiphysiodesis
We’ve done a lot of different things. The debulkings were a major aspect, and those have actually changed over time with exactly what they do there, but I also had an epiphysiodesis. My right leg was always longer than my left leg so we did a whole series of bone growth studies all through my early teens, and at a point we treated the growth plate in my right leg so that my left leg could catch up. That was a very interesting science to try and predict like, how much your one leg is going to grow relative to the other, but I have to say that’s been very successful. All during early childhood I actually had to wear a lift on my left shoe so that lengthwise I was even, and I haven’t had to do that since because of the growth plate procedure, so that was certainly successful.

Sarah, young adult, Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome