04/29/2015 11:51 EDT | Updated 06/30/2015 05:59 EDT

Alberta Man Gets Leg-Lengthening Surgery, Can Walk Again

Shutterstock / Blazej Lyjak
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. - An Alberta man's legs are both the same length again, thanks to the work of an orthopedic surgeon and an implant.

Dr. Carrie Kollias used a magnetic remote control device known as a Precice Nail and implanted it into the right leg of Royce McLean at Chinook regional hospital in Lethbridge.

McLean, of Coaldale, Alta., broke the leg in a motorcycle race six years ago.

The leg stopped growing after that and was four centimetres shorter than his left leg.

McLean says the surgery has changed his life — his legs are the same length, he can walk without crutches, and he's training to resume his racing career.

During the procedure, Kollias guided the device into the hollow centre of Royce’s right femur, entering near the top of the bone.

She cut horizontally through the bone, with the implant holding the femur together from the inside, and anchored the device with screws at the top and bottom.

More than 1,200 of these implants have been done around the world.

Kollias says it's a fantastic technology.


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