Longer legs by remote control - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Longer legs by remote control

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(07/30/12) - A one of a kind remote control may not be able to change channels, but is changing some lives. The high tech device is helping people lengthen their legs and grow bone.

Jason Carroll shattered the growth plate in his right leg playing football, when he was just 11 years old. "And I heard it break and then I just remember getting pulled into the ambulance."

"As time went on, he had more and more pain in the knee," his mother, Debbie says.

The damage to his growth plate, led to his right leg being an inch and a half shorter than his left. "People would ask why you limping and stuff like that."

That is where new state-of-the-art technology comes in. "Precise" is the first FDA approved internal limb lengthening system designed with a remote control.

One of it's developers, Dr. Shawn Standard, of Sinai hospital, says, "it's designed to be a lot smaller, can fit into more patients with different sizes of bones."

A telescopic titanium rod is placed inside the patient's thigh bone or shin. Then a remote control magnetic generator is put over the skin where the rod is implanted for a few minutes, several times a day.

"And as you turn on the magnetic driver, the rod will actually pull apart and lengthen the bone," Dr. Standard says.

Patients can expect to grow an average of a millimeter a day - or a little over an inch in one month, with little pain.

"It was a lot easier than I expected, like no pain with it," Jason says.

In under 60 days, he was back in action. "It makes a big difference."

After legs are lengthened with the Precice system, the titanium rods are removed. The remote-controlled treatment is not for everyone.

Patients do not qualify if their bones aren't long or wide enough for the device. People with significant deformities aren't candidates either.

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