April 30, 2015 6:56 pm
Updated: April 30, 2015 8:24 pm

Leg lengthening surgery first of its kind in Canada

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Watch above: Dr. Carrie Kollias and her team are the first to perform a leg lengthening technique called precise nail in Canada. Quinn Campbell reports.

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LETHBRIDGE – 20-year-old Royce McLean thought he would always have to wear a lift on his right shoe.  When he was 14-years-old, a motorcycle accident left Royce with a severe injury to his right leg.  As the years went on, he noticed the leg wasn’t growing the same as the left, and eventually he ended up with a four centimeter difference.  But now, after a recent surgery, he’s back on even ground.

“Just even walking is much easier than what I had before, and not having the risk of rolling my ankle like I had before with the big lift is easier,” said McLean.

Last July, he underwent a procedure called a Precise Nail operation – the first time the surgery has been done on Canadian soil.

The procedure was led by Dr. Carrie Kollias.  She learned about the surgery while working in Australia and was eager to see the difference the high tech device could make for the young champion.

“I’m just really proud of our team of nursing staff who was really excited, even anesthesia, the other surgeons, the physiotherapists.  It’s been a really good team effort and I think everyone is really proud of Royce for having such a nice result and we all had great steaks personally in it.”

Dr. Kollias says McLean would have suffered degenerative back pain and developed a sever limp for the rest of his life if he didn’t undergo the surgery, but thanks to the state-of-the-art medical device, he will be fully functional.

“There’s actually an internal magnet inside, and there’s a gear mechanism, and then there’s a remote control that sits on the leg, on the skin, and it actually lengthens it.  So we are doing a quarter millimeter, four times a day.”

Watch above: Quinn Campbell interviews 20-year-old champion motorcycle racer Royce Maclean, the first person to undergo precise nail surgery it Canada.

For McLean’s dad, Todd, it was a huge relief when he learned the surgery could be done close to home.

“We were thinking Montreal, Toronto, Europe or somewhere.  To find it right here in Lethbridge was amazing.”

The stainless steel rod will be removed this fall.  The surgery isn’t the right fit for everyone.  But, for healthy, determined people like McLean, it can get them on the right track to a pain-free life.

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