Teenagers bond while undergoing leg-lengthening procedures

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Like most teenagers, Christopher Jones enjoys playing sports and leads an active lifestyle. But his road to physical mobility has had some bumps and challenges. He was born with a left clubfoot and leg length discrepancy, causing his left leg to measure 3-1/2 centimeters shorter than his right leg.

When he was only 6-months-old, Christopher came to Shriners Hospital for Children in Minneapolis, Minnesota to have his clubfoot corrected. From then on, he frequented the hospital for appointments and surgeries, driving 15 hours round-trip from his home in Escanaba, Michigan. “It’s a long drive, but well worth it,” says Christopher.

To address the leg length discrepancy Christopher’s family learned about a leg lengthening procedure. During this procedure the physicians would surgically cut his tibia bone and attach an external fixator to each side of the cut. The fixator would gradually pull the bones apart so that new bone would fill in and grow. Shriners Hospitals for Children – Twin Cities specializes in this and many other orthopaedic procedures, but Christopher was still a little unsure if he wanted to go through with it…until he met Maggie Kueter.

Maggie was born with the same condition as Christopher and knew firsthand about the leg lengthening surgery – which she had just undergone two days prior.  The two talked candidly about the procedure and became fast friends.

Christopher decided to go ahead with the procedure after talking with Maggie. Post-surgery, he gained 3 centimeters on his leg, eliminating the hindrance in his physical activities.

Both Maggie and Christopher are happy with their results and of the unexpected bonus of a life-long friendship. Each year Shriners Hospitals for Children – Twin Cities helps thousands of children with orthopaedic conditions just like Christopher and Maggie.

On Tuesday, August 12th, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Twin Cities is holding a complimentary screening where children will be evaluated by a Shriners Hospitals for Children medical provider. Shriners Hospitals for Children provides comprehensive medical, surgical, and rehabilitative care for children with bone, muscle, or joint conditions regardless of insurance coverage or their ability to pay.

Screenings will be done on August 12th at Baraga County Memorial Hospital in L’Anse from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., and at Marquette Masonic Center in Marquette from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

To make an appointment, please call 1-888-293-2832.