Distraction osteogenesis, also called callus distraction, callotasis and osteodistraction, is a process used in orthopaedic surgery to repair skeletal deformities.

A common use of this surgical technique is for limb lengthening.

The procedure

Distraction is performed by an experienced consultant orthopaedic surgeon and involves a couple of phases.

In the first phase, called the “osteotomy/surgical phase”, the bone is cut and a device is fitted which will be used in the next phases. In the second phase, the latency period, which lasts generally seven days, the appliance is not activated and early stages of bone healing is allowed. In the third phase, the “distraction phase”, the device, which is mounted to the bone on each side of the cut, is used to gradually separate the two pieces, allowing fresh bone to form in the gap.

When the desired or possible length is reached, which usually takes three to seven days; a consolidation phase follows in which the device keeps the bone stable to allow the bone to fully heal. After the consolidation phase, the device is removed in a second surgical procedure.

Our team of orthopaedic surgeons perform many of these procedures and a consultation will help explain what can be achieved in your specific case.

How does it work?​


More than 30,000 procedures performed worldwide to date.

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