The procedure has been performed successfully for about 50 years in Kurgan, Russia. The concept was developed Gavriil A. Ilizarov back in 1951 after seeing many WWII veterans who had leg fractures that had not healed. Watch the video below to see how the surgery is done.
“Limb lengthening and reconstruction techniques can be used to replace missing bone and lengthen and/ or straighten deformed bone segments. The procedures may be performed on both children and adults who have limb length discrepancies due to birth defects, diseases or injuries. The limb lengthening and deformity correction process works on the principle of distraction osteogenesis. This is a revolutionary concept that reverses the long-held belief that bone cannot be regenerated. In this process, a bone that has been cut during surgery can be gradually distracted (pulled apart), leading to new bone formation (osteogenesis) at the site of the lengthening. In this way, bone segments can be lengthened by 15 to 100 percent of their original length. We use a variety of techniques, including the use of monolateral (one-sided) and circular external fixation devices, to correct angular deformities as well as limb length discrepancies.” ~ Hospital for Special Surgery