Leg to heal 29 years after it was broken!

John Phillips A MAN who broke his left leg in a motorbike crash 29 years ago is to undergo an amazing operation to grow back 6cm of dead bone. Steve Webb, 49, feared the leg might have to be amputated under the knee after discovering this winter it had never healed, de

John Phillips

A MAN who broke his left leg in a motorbike crash 29 years ago is to undergo an amazing operation to grow back 6cm of dead bone.

Steve Webb, 49, feared the leg might have to be amputated under the knee after discovering this winter it had never healed, despite spending more than four years in a plaster cast after the crash in Halbutt Street, Dagenham.

He has been told the new procedure has a 99 per cent chance of success.


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Steve, of Weston Road, Dagenham, will have a metal frame fitted around his leg and foot to stretch up to 1mm of bone each day for seven to nine months. Then he will be in plaster for a further three months.

He will undergo the procedure at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Oxford - which says it has "one of the most comprehensive limb lengthening programmes in the UK" - at the end of the month.

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Previous operations included having a metal plate fitted in his lower leg, which is believed to have contributed to an infection last year.

Steve, a plumbing merchant, said: "After numerous procedures and botched operations, I think it's quite extraordinary. Twenty-nine years with a broken leg is unheard of. They're very confident it will work. It makes me feel a lot better."

The NHS-funded Ilizarov procedure - named after the Russian physician who pioneered the technique in the '50s - may not cure his limp, but Steve, whose leg is in plaster following the infection, is hopeful he will be able to ride his Honda ST1100 bike again.

He added: "It hasn't put me off the motorbike. You've got only one life.

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