Although one of the smallest orthopaedic specialty societies, the Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society (LLRS) is a vibrant organization dedicated to stimulating scientific exchange and fostering research and clinical excellence in limb lengthening, limb reconstruction, extremity deformity correction, and complex fracture treatment.
A limb length difference may simply be a mild variation between the two sides of the body, which is not unusual in the general population. However, differences of more than half an inch (1.3 cm) between the lengths of the legs may need treatment because a significant difference can affect a patient's well-being and quality of life. Additionally, limb length discrepancies may result from bone infections or diseases, posttraumatic bone defects, improper healing after comminuted fractures, or congenital, hereditary, or neurologic conditions.
According to the LLRS website, members "strive to maintain the highest competency in the field of musculoskeletal deficiencies and reconstruction. Our purpose is to resolve acute and chronic musculoskeletal problems of pediatric and adult patients."
LLRS was founded in 1989 as the Association for the Study and Application of Methods of Ilizarov—North America, named for Russian orthopaedic surgeon Gavriil A. Ilizarov, MD, a pioneer in the field of limb reconstruction. The external fixation device that Dr. Ilizarov developed in the 1950s is still used for limb lengthening and fracture stabilization today.
Although all LLRS members share a common interest in the generation of bone and soft tissue by distraction, their practices are not limited to performing the Ilizarov procedure. Areas of expertise among the membership include external fixation of fractures, limb deformity correction, extremity lengthening, and treatment of chronic infections, nonunions, and tumors.
Advancing clinical excellence
LLRS is committed to education, research, and the continuum and evolution of knowledge based on the understanding of bone biology, osteogenesis, regeneration, and musculoskeletal applications. As an AAOS specialty society, LLRS also values collegial cooperation. LLRS offers its members numerous opportunities to foster these goals, including an annual scientific meeting, a Specialty Day program at the AAOS annual meeting, education programs on limb lengthening and reconstruction and external fixation, research grants, and a traveling fellowship.
For example, the International Limb Lengthening and Reconstruction Society (ILLRS) Congress, sponsored by the LLRS, enables attendees to meet, collaborate, and learn from colleagues from around the world. The 2015 ILLRS Congress will take place Nov. 4–7, in Miami.
The mission of the LLRS Traveling Fellowship is to provide leading education in limb lengthening and reconstruction, train future leaders of LLRS, and establish mentor relationships among LLRS members and new surgeons. The inaugural LLRS Traveling Fellowship will be held in June 2016; fellows will travel to four institutions over 4 weeks. For more information on these and other LLRS educational activities, visit www.LLRS.org