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Orthopedic Surgery for Children - pediatric orthopedics

When you break a bone it heals—so to help children with leg deformities, Dr. Daniel Ruggles, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon on the medical staff of Lee Health, uses small incisions to create a tiny crack in the bone. “This device goes inside the bone. It’s a relatively new technology that’s been around the last several years that has really revolutionized the way that we lengthen lower extremities because we can make the bone longer completely on the inside. We place it inside the bone and then we make a little crack in the bone and we can actually grow the bone with this device. It’s actually driven by a little motor inside the nail with a large magnet.” As the bone stretches, the body will naturally begin to heal the new bone. “You can lengthen a bone about one millimeter at day, so depending on how long the lengthening is, as well as how long it takes the bone to heal after you lengthen it, the device can be in for several months,” he said. Limb discrepancy can be caused by previous infection, trauma, or genetic disorder. This type of procedure can be done on children as young as seven years old. “The advantage of this is that it’s all on the inside of the body, whereas traditionally for years and years we would use external fixation or external frames,” said Dr. Ruggles. After surgery, many patients go home the following day. “The biggest and probably most important aspect is physical therapy. They have rigorous physical therapy pretty much every day while they are lengthening their bone,” Dr. Ruggles said. Giving children a safe and discrete option to correct a leg deformity. View More Health Matters video segments at Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit