HSS Opens Adult Limb Lengthening and Deformity Center

New York, NY—October 7, 2005

Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) announced today the establishment of the Limb Lengthening and Deformity Center that implements innovative surgical techniques to leg length inequality and limb deformity.  The HSS limb lengthening center is one of only two in the United States.

The center reestablishes mobility in patients who have endured a poorly healed fracture, childhood growth plate injury, disease or a congenital defect; and is Co-chaired by S. Robert Rozbruch, MD and Roger F. Widmann, MD; additional staff includes Svetlana Ilizarov, MD and the newly hired Austin T. Fragomen, MD.

“The creation of the Limb Lengthening and Deformity Center reaffirms HSS’ commitment to high quality patient care, improving mobility and enhancing the quality of life for all. The innovative techniques used by this department are a testament to the forward thinking nature of our institution,” said Dr. Thomas Sculco, Surgeon-In-Chief.

Limb lengthening and reconstruction techniques are used to replace missing bone and to lengthen and/or straighten deformed bone segments of legs and arms. The outcome is achieved by using the body’s own capacity to create new bone as well as the soft tissues, ligaments, blood vessels, and nerves that surround and support it.  The process begins with an operation called an osteotomy in which the bone that is to be lengthened is cut. The limb is then stabilized using one of several different external and/or internal fixation devices or frames.  As the space in between the bone opens up, the body continues to produce new tissue in the gap until the desired length of bone has been generated.

“Although it is based on a technique called the Ilizarov Method which was originally developed in Russia more than a half century ago, limb lengthening surgery is advancing rapidly in the United States.  We have been able to successfully treat limb deformities that had been thought to be untreatable, and in the process change lives,” says Dr. Rozbruch.   Dr. Widmann adds, “We are confident that we can provide anatomic solutions for patients with limb length discrepancies and deformities.”

Dr. Fragomen, who joined the team this month, was HSS’ first fellow specializing in deformity correction, limb lengthening and reconstruction at HSS.  He received his medical degree from SUNY Downstate and completed his residency at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center. His research interests include complex ankle fusions, and a bio-mechanical study on the benefits of the Ilizarov method.  In addition to treating patients at HSS’ Manhattan location, Dr. Fragomen will also take trauma calls at New York Hospital Queens.

About Hospital for Special Surgery
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is the world’s largest academic medical center focused on musculoskeletal health. HSS is nationally ranked No. 1 in orthopedics and No. 2 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2016-2017), and is the first hospital in New York State to receive Magnet Recognition for Excellence in Nursing Service from the American Nurses Credentialing Center four consecutive times. HSS has one of the lowest infection rates in the country. HSS is an affiliate of Weill Cornell Medical College and as such all Hospital for Special Surgery medical staff are faculty of Weill Cornell. The hospital's research division is internationally recognized as a leader in the investigation of musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases. Hospital for Special Surgery is located in New York City and online at www.hss.edu.


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