Guided Growth Specialist

Maguire & Early Orthopedics

Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons located in Santa Barbara, CA & Pismo Beach, CA

Children with abnormalities like knock knees or bowed legs can benefit from guided growth to correct these abnormalities. If your child has one of these conditions, Maguire & Early Orthopedics can help. Experienced pediatric orthopedic specialists Michael Maguire, MD, and Sean Early, MD, have offices in Santa Barbara and Pismo Beach, California, where they perform minimally invasive guided growth procedures to correct abnormalities in growing children's legs. To benefit from their expertise in guided growth, call Maguire & Early Orthopedics or book an appointment online today.

Guided Growth Q & A

What is guided growth?

Guided growth (also known as hemi-epiphysiodesis) is a procedure that helps to gradually correct abnormalities in your child's bones. The Maguire & Early Orthopedics team uses guided growth to treat conditions like bowed legs and knock knees, where your child's legs bend outward or inward too far.

Guided growth involves tethering or guiding the growth plate on one side of the affected bone. Growth plates are areas of cartilage at the ends of the bones that control the growth of new bone as your child develops.

As your child gets older, the tethered side of the bone grows at a slower rate than the side without the tether, which means the bone slowly straightens out. To be effective, guided growth has to take place while your child is still growing.

What does guided growth surgery involve?

The Maguire & Early Orthopedics team generally performs guided growth surgery on an outpatient basis, so your child can go home on the same day as their procedure. The operation takes place under general anesthesia, so your child won't feel any pain or be aware of what's happening.

The guided growth plate used in the procedure is very small. Your provider attaches it to the side of the bone by inserting a screw on either side of the growth plate. There's no need for the team to cut any bone, so your child won't have to wear a cast or brace after their guided growth surgery.

How long does recovery take after guided growth surgery?

Your child doesn't need to limit their movement following guided growth surgery, so they can walk and move their legs as normal. They might experience some discomfort in the early stages, especially if their guided growth plates are in the thigh bone. However, the more the child moves, the sooner the pain subsides.

Medication suitable for children can help manage any discomfort in the early days. Raising the leg and supporting it with a pillow and using an ice pack can also reduce pain and swelling. Your child may need to use a walker or crutches at first but should stop as soon as they're able.

It takes around 12 months for guided growth to straighten your child's bones. This can vary according to how quickly your child is growing and how severe the curve is in their leg. Once the process is complete, your provider can remove the guided growth plate.

If your child has bow legs, knock knees, or similar problems, the Maguire & Early Orthopedics team can help. Call the office nearest you to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online today.