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March 24, 1945


JAMA. 1945;127(12):713. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860120029010

The problem of equalization of the length of the legs arises in children and in young adults as the result of the healing of overriding fractures, injuries to the adjacent epiphysis from joint or bone infection, bone tumors and congenital deformities. In many cases unequal length occurs as a residual effect of paralysis of muscle groups attendant on anterior poliomyelitis. The methods employed for equalization of length consist in lengthening the short limb,1 shortening the long limb,2 arresting the bone growth of the longer extremity by destroying the epiphysial cartilaginous plate3 and stimulating bone growth of the shorter limb by lumbar sympathectomy4 or by direct irritation of the epiphysial cartilaginous plate.

In a series of experiments on dogs, in which an attempt was made to stimulate bone growth by inserting two different kinds of metal into and around the epiphysial plate, Haas5 observed that in