What is Growth Modulation?
In Children’s orthopedics, growth modulation refers to changing the bone growth in order to correct deformities or irregularities in growing children and adolescents. The goal is to guide the growth of bones in a way that corrects the deformity over time, avoiding major surgical procedures.
This outpatient procedure is used when there are deformities in the bone making them grow at an angle causing bowed legs or knocked knee’s (Genu Varum and Genu Valgum).
The idea is to use the natural growth potential of bones to correct the deformity. Growth modulation is considered a more conservative approach compared to traditional surgical interventions such as osteotomies (cutting bones). It can only be used in children that are still growing.
The most common method of growth modulation involves using a temporary plate across the growth plate on one side of the bone. This temporarily stops that side from growing so as the other side grows it corrects the deformity.
The success of this technique relies on careful planning, monitoring, and follow-up to ensure that the growth is being modulated in the desired manner.
It's important to note that the specific techniques used for growth modulation in orthopedics may vary depending on the nature of the deformity and the individual patient's characteristics. Orthopedic surgeons and specialists carefully assess each case to determine the most appropriate approach to achieve the desired correction while allowing for normal skeletal development.