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Help needed!! One short leg. - Page 2

post #31 of 44
Trekchick,
To encourage you and your young man:
There was a Frank Woerndl of Germany, SL world champion 1987 and silver medalist of 1988 (behind Tomba). They guy had about 4 cm (1 1/2 inch) difference. He is said to have compensated about 50%.
I skied with him (years later, not WCS or Olympia) but never saw anything. I didn´t know about his handicap back then and never inspected his boots. Otoh, if there had been a brutal lift I would have noticed, the skier´s eye is trained that way.
post #32 of 44
I remember him. I've probably got some old VHS tapes of him.(they're not in good shape though) I did not know that about him.
post #33 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
2. Dolomite Carver. Dolomite made a boot a few years ago that had built in lift. Using one of these with another boot might be an option, but I would say my first option would be better.
Was that one of the CYB series?
post #34 of 44
Hey, Trek, one of our local PSIA examiners has a leg length difference. He's had it addressed by something done to his boots. He wanted to be able to switch skis, try other skis, etc. If you need a source for this work, I'll ask him where he had it done.
post #35 of 44
Thread Starter 
Kneale, I would really appreciate that information.

Update on where this family is in their decision making and procedure:

An appointment with a 3rd specialist last Thursday was not one that offered the answers the family was hoping to hear.
There are many procedures available, including bone stretching(almost torturous painful) Bone grafting later in life, and stunting the growth in the "good leg" so the good portion(in this case the tib/fib) can catch up in overall length.
Since the earlier apts, Daniels leg had grown another 1/4 inch(? - I may be off a bit). The specialist doesn't want to wait for more options, due to the fact that D is in a growth spurt and a big difference in his leg lengths can cause other issues with hips, back, neck, shoulders, etc.
His recommendation is to put screws in the growth plate of the tib and the femur of the good leg so it will stop growing and let the Tibia of the bad leg catch up in overall length. He feels that most, but not all of the growth difference may be made up if they act now.
The outcome will be, his Femur on his left leg will always be 1 1/2 inches shorter than his right, and his Tibia on his Left leg will always be longer than that on his right leg.
In other words, he'll always be crooked, but he'll have a better chance of being "evenly crooked".
He's been told that he should not consider racing for at least one season, and possibly two depending on growth and healing. Yet, he should try to stay active and keep doing most of what he does now.

This "even crooked" thing is a whole new question about what to do when he gets back into racing. For some reason I think he'll still play around in NASTAR even if he can't stay on the HS Race Team.

He has Race #2 of a 5 race Motocross series this Sunday which will be his last for a long time, because he needs to have this procedure done soon.
post #36 of 44
Boy! Sounds like pretty drastic stuff there.

Are they sure the injured femur won't ever grow again?

So right now he has one tibia that's longer than it should be by comparison with its femur (but otherwise normal) and a femur and tibia that are normal and in combination longer than the injured leg, right? So this surgeon wants to stop growth in both the tibia and femur of the normal leg in the hope the injured leg's tibia growth will even out the lengths?

Is this a Cadillac area physician? I think before I permitted that to be done to my son I'd seek out opinions from maybe Mott Children's Hospital in Flint or U of M's orthopedics department. My inclination would be to use prosthetics to avoid the hip and spine problems until growth is completed and then maybe adjust the leg length surgically.

I'll try to track down the boot guy my friend used.
post #37 of 44
Thread Starter 
Yup, You understand the procedure they are recommending. The original orthopedist is from Cadillac, but he immediately referred them to a specialist in GR when the growth issue was realized.
They have been to three specialists in the past month, all of whom have described the procedures available, and all of whom are recommending the procedure I described above.

Because they knew this was a possibility, his progress has been monitored over the past two years. The differences were so minor that it didn't seem to be an issue until the recent growth spurt which has been significant. The xrays and tests have led them to believe that there is no chance that his femur will ever grow again. At least not enough to catch up with 2+ inches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
Boy! Sounds like pretty drastic stuff there.

Are they sure the injured femur won't ever grow again?

So right now he has one tibia that's longer than it should be by comparison with its femur (but otherwise normal) and a femur and tibia that are normal and in combination longer than the injured leg, right? So this surgeon wants to stop growth in both the tibia and femur of the normal leg in the hope the injured leg's tibia growth will even out the lengths?

Is this a Cadillac area physician? I think before I permitted that to be done to my son I'd seek out opinions from maybe Mott Children's Hospital in Flint or U of M's orthopedics department. My inclination would be to use prosthetics to avoid the hip and spine problems until growth is completed and then maybe adjust the leg length surgically.

I'll try to track down the boot guy my friend used.
post #38 of 44
trekchick and PCSB,

I am no longer in Park City. I current live in Denver. Yes I had this problem, I broke my Femur through the growth cap on my left leg at 14, and whent on to complete and fulfill what I consider a good career on the USST (although my main goals were not achieved, not due the leg length problems.)

I originally skied with a 32 mm block under the binding, then I fortunately found boot sponsors that built boots to compensate for the length difference (Nordica and Rossignol). I skied for 7 years on Rossignol product during my career, with GREAT boot reps. Thor Verdonk was my main boot guy for the majority. Again I had a 32 mm difference and Rossignol was kind enough to sacrifice two pair of boots for every set I used.

Not sure if anyone is still reading this blog, but I could help answer any questions one might have about my experience. I did not chose a procedure at the time to lengthen the leg, but have been advised by my doctors that procedures exist now (at 32) to help mitigate any future back problems that could crop up.

I happened on this blog through a self indulgent search on my own name. Re-living the past I guess, HA. I hope the youngster is doing well, and again would help if questions need to be answered. I'm no longer in the ski industry, but do enjoy getting back on the slopes the few days a year that my schedule permits, and yes I still use the boots I had for the last year of my career.

In my experience the Femur will not grow again after it is healed itself. But solution do exist...I am proof of that. Again all the best to the youngster, tell him to keep his head up. Nothing is closed out for him (although the FIS rules might have changed form 2002).

Ehlias
post #39 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion2Moon View Post
trekchick and PCSB,


Not sure if anyone is still reading this blog, but I could help answer any questions one might have about my experience. I did not chose a procedure at the time to lengthen the leg, but have been advised by my doctors that procedures exist now (at 32) to help mitigate any future back problems that could crop up.

I happened on this blog through a self indulgent search on my own name. Re-living the past I guess, HA. I hope the youngster is doing well, and again would help if questions need to be answered. I'm no longer in the ski industry, but do enjoy getting back on the slopes the few days a year that my schedule permits, and yes I still use the boots I had for the last year of my career.

In my experience the Femur will not grow again after it is healed itself. But solution do exist...I am proof of that. Again all the best to the youngster, tell him to keep his head up. Nothing is closed out for him (although the FIS rules might have changed form 2002).

Ehlias
Absolutely we are reading this thread!
Thank you so much for your reply. Daniel, this young man, is actually going for a procedure to stop the good leg from growing in a little over a week. He has a long road ahead of him.

Since he broke his growth plate at the age of 12, he had a lot of major growing to do yet, and thus the crux of the problem.
The last his difference was measured was a few weeks ago and it was 1 1/4 inch IIRC.

Can you tell how much total difference you had?

Thanks again for taking the time to post. I am sure it will be a source of encouragement to Daniel.
post #40 of 44

leg lengthening.

In therapy I often use a heal wedge to correct a length discrepancy. You can also have a shoe sole built up to correct this. 3 cm is considered the threshold for a significant disparity. However there are also surgical options. Please see the link below.
http://www.limblengthening.com/aboutll.html
By the way the femur is capable of healing. However, there are growth plates (epiphyseal plates) in the femur. One near the top, one at the bottom. If you fracture the bone through the plate while you are still growing, it may cause the plate to fuse and seal. Thus, the bone no longer is able to grow in length.
post #41 of 44
The last time it was measured, I believe in 1999 after a major knee injury to the same leg, it was right around 1 1/4 inch. I do remember having that option of going in and pinning the normal leg for it not to grow (soon after the fracture). I can't be sure of the reasons why I chose not to, but if Daniel's discrepancy has a chance to get larger, it sounds like a good idea to me (although I am not a doctor). Not sure what "IIRC" is but I can tell you that 1 1/4 inch is noticeable in every day life.

I do have heel lifts in a couple pair of shoes like Johnnys Zoo has mentioned, and in the past have had shoes built up. Mostly only on tennis or sports shoes. The 3/4 inch heel lift is the largest I found that will fit reasonably in limited shoes. The built up shoes I have had never really worked for me, but I'm sure the technology is better now.

"Can you tell how much total difference you had?", yes I can. If I'm at the beach or walk for longer distances with my child in flip flops, you bet I feel it in my back and more my knee, but thats a whole different story. For example, if I walk 18 holes of golf, the limp form the length discrepancy dose get to me and my back, but I would not consider myself to have a bad back, just a little tight. I have two orthopedic doctors in my family and they are both really worried about my back long term, and they are strongly urging a leg lengthening procedure. It is their opinion that the shoe fix is not sufficient, in addition to the doctor that put my knees back together over the years.

But overall I do believe the back could be a major issue in the future. As of now, there is nothing my leg length discrepancy stops me from doing. I am limited more from multiple knee injuries. I play hockey once a week in a mens league (hockey skates are lifted on one skate), biking is fine, golf is fine, although sore after walking. I just don't run...that is the worst both on my back and knee. It made training a bit more difficult, I had to substitute lots of bike for the track workouts the team had us do.

Not sure I have answered anything, but I hope it helps. Keep me posted on Daniel's progress. Sounds like regardless there will be a 1 1/4 inch difference. Everyday life not a big deal, in sports and/or skiing it could be really different. The lift on my boot was essential for my ski career, would not have been possible otherwise, I'm sure of that.

Ehlias
post #42 of 44
Thread Starter 
This is all good information and is certainly worth while for the family to process while they are going through the pinning and the therapy.

Daniels next question is, how will it effect his skiing, with his tib on the right leg shorter than the left, and Femur on his left leg shorter than his right.

All stuff that runs through your mind when you face these decisions.

I'll keep you all posted on his progress, in the mean time, please keep the information and encouragement coming.
post #43 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
Was that one of the CYB series?
Yes, I have a pair that I skied on and they had 17 mm of lift inside if my memory is correct.
post #44 of 44
Thread Starter 
Bump.
I thought it would be nice to recap on the progress of this young man.

He never missed a ski race season at school and has had some great help from his coach/local ski shop with plates and adjustments as he's needed them along the way.

Once they figured out what his rate of growth and leg difference was, he worked hard on his skills and has adjusted quite well.

The good news is that his skis are set up for him in a way that works very well for him.
The bad news is that he can no longer share skis with other family members.

The input here and kind advice has helped a lot in this progress and I'd like to thank you for your help.
Tricia
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