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Author Topic: Cbick66 - External Tibias - Doctor Withheld - 2006 - My Progress in Serbia  (Read 78556 times)
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cbick66
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« on: August 07, 2006, 06:30:44 AM »

Hello

I would like to post my experience so far on my Limb Lengthening experience.

Just to tell you, I am 24 years old and have been thinking about this surgary for a long time. Ever since I stoped growing at the age of 16, I would lurke around growing taller forums for ways to acheive more height naturally. I soon realised that 90% of the products out there are scams and the ones that do work  ei:stretching, inversion and some others require alot of time and dedication for just 1 or maybe a few centimeters. And that only seems to work on people who are in their teens(probably because their plates havn't fused yet). But anyway, now being 24 years old, I decided that it was now or never. So I gathered my saved up money I headed off to Serbia. I first had my mind set on going to beijing because I have heard alot of good things and whenever I would type "limb lengthening" on the google search engine, that's the forst one that would come up.

Now being that my height before limb lengthening was 163cm(5'4" and a half) I was looking to be average height. So that ment that I was going for 5 inches which would make me around 176(5'9"). So this ment that I would be doing half the length on tibias and the other half on femurs.

So I contacted the beijing insitiute and was set to leave in a couple months. But I then got a hold of a website that had about 15 different surgeons that did this opperation and found my doctor.  I read on on him to find out that he had about 50 kind of different inventions on different surgical procedures and that he was a renown doctor for doing difficult surgeries around the world. So I called him and asked him about my operation and he gave me a price that was well below what beijing gave me(around 10,000US cheaper). So there and then I made up my mind and left the next week.

It has been just a little over 3 weeks now since the surgery and everything is going good. I started lengthening 5 days after the operation and have now acheived about 22mm in length on my tibias. When I first got here I talked to the doctor about doing my femurs a few weeks after my tibias. he told me that it was possible but the physio therapy would be very hard. The one thing that happens when you lengthen the tibias is that your bones grow at 1mm or more per day but your tendents are hard to stretch. So this is why physio therapy is required. Ballerina foot(I don't think I need to describe what that is) will develope if the ankle is not stretched beyond 90 degrees everyday.

So this is why I have decided to wait until my tibias are stretched and then I will focuse on my femurs. There is on patient right know who is doing tibias and femurs at the same time and he is unable do to regular physio therapy like me since he stays in bed all the time. Personally, I want to be able to walk out of here so doing it this way will most lickely allow me do do just that. But like I said, it's only been 3 weeks so I still have a while to go. About 4 months for the whole precess.

If anyone was questions, don't hesitate to ask
cbick
« Last Edit: December 15, 2006, 01:35:58 PM by mysteryman » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2006, 09:26:15 AM »

CBICK, thanks for sharing your experiences - and good luck with everything!

What are the facilities there like? What is the food like? Thanks!
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« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2006, 09:17:43 PM »

Well the facility is a miliritary hospital in the city of Nis. They give  you your own room with a bathrrom, a tv and the internet. It's not the gretatest looking hospital but yjr staff is good and the people try to help you here. The food is good old regular hospital food I guess. Sometimes cat food, sometimes dog food, lol. I just get familly or someone here to buy me good stuff once in a while. But none of that realley matters to me. I'm here for my legs and focuse on that.

I guess I should say in the last few days I have had trouble sleeping at night as my tibias start pulsating. I think this is due to me over exercising my ankles during the last few days. Because I talked to 2 other patients and the said that they didn't have that feeling when their tibias where lengthen. The difference is that the one never stood on his legs untill lengthening was complately finished and the other is still lengthening his tibias but is also doing his femurs at the same time. So standing is not really an option for him. The patient that is done lengthening his tibias is still doing physio therapy(2 months later) to correct his ballerina foot.  I guess that's my worst fear about this which is why I've decided to satnd, and walk while my tibias are being lengthen. The Doctor says it is ok but don't over do it.

anyway I'll keep you updated
cbick
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2006, 02:41:34 PM »

Thanks, cbick - it's really interesting learning about your experiences. I hope that you're still doing OK.

What sort of ankle exercises do you do?

How long do you expect the first part of the treatment to last?

And, if you don't mind me asking, how much are you paying in total for the first part?

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cbick66
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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2006, 08:33:48 PM »

Well the ankels exercises I have to do are jus tto rotate the ankle from side to side and make sure that I can keep the ankle at 90 or beyond 90 degrees while stretching. This means I stand up and lean my body forward making sure to keep my heels on the ground. this provides a small stretch to the back muscles. it's actually more difficult then i thought as I have had big pain in the last few days the kept me from sleeping. This pain started when I started using the walker trying to walk and stretch my muscles. So I have stayed away from serious exercise in the last couple days. my legs felt alot better today so I should resume my exersises tomorrow. I kind of knew that this would ne a long process when I started but I guess I thought if I worked hard enough, I could shorten my recovery. But now I realise that I have to loisten to my body. If my legs hurt, theres no point on trying to exersise more. Only time will tell. So far I have gained 23mm in 3 weeks. I still have 40mm to go in my tibias and then my femur will start.

About the price, it cost 7000$US for the tibias and half price if you want to do femurs. But then the doctor puts in internal fixators because the bone is not strong enough after lengthening.  That is something like 3000$US and in 2 years, I have to come back or maybe find a doctor near me to remove them. Hospital stay cost around 1200$US a month. in total, I will be here 7 weeks for tibias ans 7 weeks for femurs if everything goes well. It will probably be more like a 4 month stay when I can get out of here safely. So in total, I'm looking at about 20000$US for the whole operations. Maybe a bit more but this is not bad compared to 36000$ that beijing was charging me.

take care
cbick
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2006, 05:54:25 AM »

wow man your a trooper, thanks for the url to this site. I have one question that im sketchy on, i wanted to do this in america if i could since im american but its so much money, but a qwote my friend gave me which really sticks in my head is you get what you pay for, how did you go about picking where it should be done and if the doctor was recommendable?
Also is it as bad as you thought it would be cause im dreading it but it seems like something i really need to do.

How many inchs are you doing for your tibias?  Keep me up dated in your progess.
                                               glad everythings going well keep it up man! 
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2006, 10:01:27 AM »

Your question about going overseas is a good one, and I think that making sure the hospital you choose has the right facilities is essential.

I am going to ask some of the doctors who have joined the board to send us pictures of their clinics, and also the pricing for services there!
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cbick66
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2006, 09:53:39 AM »

Well you right in the sence that you get what you pay for. I know that I oaid for a very experience doctor who has invented about 75 defferented devices and goes all around the world doing difficult opperations. What's lacking is poor communication beetween the doctor and the hospital I'm in. You see, my doctor is the director of a different hospital in his town so he doesn't often know what is going on in this hospital I tell him. For exemple, something as simle as giving me a good wheelchair has taken 4 weeks and even this one is no good as it has a flat tire. My previouse one didn't have no pedals to rest my legs. so I hav to call my doctor to get things straitned out. Another example is a different patient hasn't has physio therapy for 3 days as his therapist has been on holidays. You would think that they would have a replacement. I'm lucky because I have gotten to know the other therapist so he works with me as I have the sane guy as the other patient. It's just the little things that bother me. I know that comming here, I was paying 4 times less then the united states but I was willing to take the chance instead of waiting another 2 or 3 years to save up money. Therapy is the least of my concerns right now as I know that with time, your body will heal. And at the worst, you can go home and get a familly member to continue the therapy. I know that I will have to continue this at home for another 3 months or so.

Another option is to move in to town here. Something I am considering very much. After getting to kn ow people, I have found out that I can rent an appartment for 200 uros here. That's cheap compared to 1000 uros I'm paying right now with shi* food. that would leave me 800 uros for food, therapy and pain killers if needed. And talking to people here, that would only cost me another 300 or 400 uros a month extra.

I guess I'll have to see
cbick
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2006, 12:08:06 PM »

I just found out something funny today. I was looking down at the forum and noticed that my doctor responded "what method is the best". If you guys want a good expenations on internal vs external, go to his post and you'll get your answer. He doesn't know that I have posted my experience on here. I hope he's not mad as I have to tell him now. there ae only 4 patients doing limb lengthening here so he'll figure it out, lol.

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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2006, 12:48:24 PM »

For anyone who cares, this is what my personal data sheet says.

july 22: 1mm(5 days after opperation. Dotor recommended 6 or 7 days but I was to exited, lol)
july 23: 1.1/3mm
july 24: 1.1/3mm
july 25: 1.1/3mm
july 26: 1.1/3mm
july 27: 1.1/3mm
july 28: 1.1/3mm
total: 9mm

july 29: 1.1/3mm
july 30: 1mm
july 31: 1.1/3mm
aug.  1: 1.1/3mm
aug.  2: 1.1/3mm
aug.  3: 1.1/3mm
aug.  4: 1.2/3mm
total: 9.1/3mm

aug.  5: 1.1/3mm
aug.  6: 1.1/3mm
aug.  7: 1.1/3mm(my left leg is hurting pretty bad. I have trouble to straiten it out. My right leg is ok.)
aug.  8: 1.1/3mm
aug.  9: 0mm(thought I should give my leg a rest. Rushing it will do me no good)
aug. 10: 2/3mm(Been working on staitening out my left leg moe and more.  feels really good after physio therapy. I ca straiten it out no problem after a good session.  My right leg is still in good shape. I can straiten it out. Called the doctor to see about my left leg.)

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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2006, 12:27:10 AM »

Do they charge you to take the internal nail out after the leg is healed up? Also if the leg heals with that inside of it once the operation is done does that mean they have to rebrake it to take it out?


How is your leg feeling did you find out why it hurts?
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2006, 05:41:24 AM »

Agust 10: docotr came in and I told him about my left leg. But suprisingly it was feeling very good and I coulg staiten it out no problem. He told me that there would be times where this would happen but it goes away. So I decided to lengthen another 1/3mm on both legs.

This morning I woke up with the best sleep I've had since being here. My legs don't really hurt as much as the usual mornings. I usually get woken up every 2 hours or so by little pulsations from the lengthening of the legs but I slept 7 hours right through this morning. I'm very happy about my left leg as I can bend it no problem withoutn pain. I think I will take at easy on my legs for one more day and then tomorrow I will start standing with the walker again. I won't walk though as I think that fukced up my leg in the first place. I'll just stand and lean abit forward to stretch the back muscle.

About the device: I'm not using internal nails. I'm using an external device(almost the same as the one in beijing). The difference beetween mine and there's is that I'm using 3 dimentional pins instead of 2 dmentional pins. We actually had this conversation yesterday night, lol. He told me that it has been proven to be better for bone growth and stability. I can't really go into technical details as I don't completely understand myself. 

I think it's something like 3000US to go from external to internal fixator after lengthening is done. But his internal fixator is also defferent then the one in beijing. It's actually a fixator outside the bone(but still inside the leg). I think beijing uses nails inside the bone for fixator. In any case, they have to stay in for 2 years and then can be removed.

I brought my camera so I'll be taking pictures to show you guys the device. I'll even try to take pictures of the crazy american that has tibia and femur devices on at the same time.
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« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2006, 01:39:25 AM »

cbick: Thanks for all of these posts - reading about your experiences is SOOOO useful!

You seem to be lengthening really well - when do you think you will stop the stretching?

I can't wait to see the photos - you could write a book about your experiences when you're done.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2006, 02:52:49 AM »

i ahve a question do you have to pay for phsyical therapy or is that included in the price?
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cbick66
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« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2006, 06:41:39 AM »

Everything is included in the price. ei:pain killers, sleeping pills(yes you will need them), food, physio therapy, internet and other things I can't think of right now. The only difference when it comes to cost is how long you stay here. Longer stay=more cost. Ther's one guy here who only got his tibias lengthen but didn't want the internal fixator after lengthening so he had been here for 4 months waiting for his bones to consilidate. 1 months and a half for lengthening and 2 months and a half for consilidation so far. He says tat it will be another month before his bone is comletely hard and Dr. Mitkovic can take out the external fixator.
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2006, 02:45:26 AM »

yea dude thats a great price, but i realized that im prob going to have to do femurs and tibias so thats going to set me off till a year from now i dont want to wait Sad. So hows the leg does it feel good now?
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2006, 04:15:58 AM »

The one american guy here just got like 3 credit cards and put them all as money. He says it's all good because they all have 0 apr for 1 year. He's also the one that is doing lengtheing in record time, lol. Femur and tibias at the same time so less time here for hospital stay=less money spent. I think it's gonna be something like 18000$ for 4 inches when he gets out of here. But he is no where near walking for at least 4 months when he leaves. Alot of physio will be required.

So I would say if your credit is bad, the Doctor and myself(seing it with my own eyes) don't recommend doing this just to save a few bucks. Even I will have to do do physio when I get out of here as I only intend to saty here for 4 months. The difference is I have more mobillity and the pain will is far less for me.(mostly annoying stretching pain)
cbick
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2006, 12:01:19 PM »

Here you go guys. Pictures of the external device.


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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2006, 01:14:54 PM »

Thanks, Cbick - these pictures are great.

That device looks different to anything that I've seen before - are these Dr. Mitkovic's own design?
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2006, 02:39:37 PM »

yes they're his inventions. Kinda like the ones in beijing but his pins are set on angles instead of strait. Better blood formation and stability he says.
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