A life-changing treatment for children with Schmid type of metaphyseal chondrodysplasia (SMCD) – a rare, genetic condition resulting in stunted growth and orthopedic deformities, is now being offered at Rambam Health Care Campus (Rambam) in Haifa, Israel.
Professor Mark Eidelman, director of the Pediatric Orthopedics Unit in the Ruth Rappaport Children’s Hospital at Rambam, is implementing a new surgical treatment for children with SMCD, a rare inherited disorder characterized by short stature, abnormally short arms and legs, bowed legs, and other bone deformities. The innovative treatment involves straightening and lengthening limbs with a magnetic ‘self-lengthening nail’ (SLN)—an adjustable metal rod implanted in the femur (thighbone). The patient controls the length of the SLN externally using a magnet-based technology. Adjusting the nail is a pain free and easy procedure for the patient.
This novel treatment had not been previously available in Northern Israel. Rambam, the largest referral hospital in the north, is the first in the region to offer it. The SLN treatment has many advantages: there is no risk of infection, the patient does not experience severe pain, surrounding muscle and skeletal tissue is not damaged, and the patient’s range of motion is preserved. Recovery is faster and quality of life is restored and improved.
Professor Eidelman diagnosed five-year-old Sophia Vychovski with SMCD. Eighteen months ago, she began corrective treatment, and both shins were extended by four centimeters. Afterward the SLN was implanted, and is controlled by her without difficulty. An optimistic Eidelman explains, “Today, 13-year-old Sophia is 130 cm tall. By the end of puberty, in three to four years, we expect her to grow another five centimeters and reach a height of 135 cm.” Eidelman concludes, “Extending children’s limbs using the SLN is revolutionary. It’s a life-changing treatment for patients with SMCD.”