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Growing Legs With ISKD

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) --Imagine living life a little off balance—literally. For thousands of people, having one leg shorter than the other is a reality they have to live with. It’s often caused by birth defects and accidents, but new technology is allowing people to get rid of their pain and discomfort for good.

Dale Waters loves sitting down with a good puzzle.

“They put a lot of French words in here, I don’t do well with French words,” Dale Waters, a patient, told Ivanhoe.

Good memory is key in this game. But one thing Dale will never forget is how his life changed after a motorcycle ride four years ago.

“It was raining very, very hard,” Waters said.

While stopped at a light, Dale’s motorcycle was hit by a pick up truck.

“He side swiped the front of the motorcycle and jerked it very violently and I ended up on the road, face down, with the motorcycle lying across the back of my legs,” Waters explained.

Orthopedic specialist, Dr. Dean Cole at Florida Hospital, pioneered a device called intramedullary skeletal kinetic distractor, or ISKD. He says unlike the traditional external device used to increase bone length with pins or wires, this device works internally.

“The old device pulled the bone apart, and so does this, but this is just internal and the patient has control by their movement at the rate it will lengthen,” Dean Cole, M.D., Orthopedic specialist and director of fracture care at Florida Hospital told Ivanhoe.

Doctors implanted a telescoping rod into Dale’s bone. The rod was gradually extended. A handheld magnetic sensor monitored the bone’s growth on a daily basis.

“The tension force will align the collagen fibers and they will mineralize and new bone is made,” Dr. Cole said.

Little by little Dale’s legs grew, taking with it the pain and discomfort.

“I walked down the block, turned around and walked back, never even stopped and I came back and said ‘damn that feels good,’” Waters said.

While he holds onto his crutches for extra support now, his legs are even and he knows it’s only a matter of time before this will be one less puzzle he has to worry about. The ISKD is the only FDA approved internal device to lengthen legs. Because everything is internal, it also reduces the chances of infection. Dr. Cole says patients cannot feel the device, but they have the option to remove it after the growth process is complete.

Click here to Go Inside This Science and View Video or contact:

Dean Cole , MD
Director of Fracture Care
Florida Hospital
Main line: 407.303.5805

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