Assuta Ashdod gives teenage boy the ability to walk pain-free
Ephraim Cohen was a healthy and happy child until he turned 13.
As he grew older and his body developed, one leg became longer than the other by about four centimeters, causing Ephraim back and joint pain.
More than half of the world's population have a subtle difference between the lengths of their legs, but once the differentiation reaches more than 2 centimeters, it can cause severe issues. This phenomenon is known as Limb Length Discrepancy or anisomelia.
"The difficulties affected almost all areas of life, starting with buying shoes, suitable pants, and other things required for the normal course of day-to-day life," Ephraim said. "This is not an easy reality for anyone, especially teenagers."
Ephraim spent the next six years meeting with countless doctors to find a solution, to no avail. Finally, as his condition worsened, his family decided to meet with Dr. Ron Lamdan, the head of the pediatric orthopedics department at Samson Assuta Ashdod University Hospital.
After a series of tests, the hospital presented Ephraim and his family with two options for surgery. The first involved lengthening the shorter leg, and the second shortening the longer one.
While the former is much more common, perhaps for aesthetic reasons, the latter presents the advantage of easier and shorter rehabilitation.
"It is important to make clear that this is not an innovative or complicated surgery. It is simply less common because the majority prefer an extension," Dr. Lamdan explained.
"The problem of leg length is common but can go undiagnosed. Without proper identification and treatment, it can lead to pain in the area of the feet, the lower back, the neck and to limping," said Dr. Lamdan.
"The reasons for this formation are often unclear. What is clear, however, is that there are good medical solutions available, and there is no reason for a child or an adult to postpone treating the problem."
Ephraim chose to shorten his long leg, so he underwent surgery at Assuta Ashdod in March. The operation was a huge success. During the two-and-a-half-hour surgery, a piece of bone around 3 centimeters was removed from his femur.
"Two days after the operation, I already feel the difference," Ephraim exclaimed. "I can't wait to get the doctor's approval for a hike in the Judean Desert."