Research

CLESF works to promote the exchange of ideas, including techniques, development, research, and technologies in order to continually improve lower extremity patient treatment, post-operative management and care.

Via the Run. Walk. Dream. medical mission, CLESF strives to continue to investigate the conditions of congenital deformities, searching for common trends and possible contributing factors. The cause of many congenital deformities, such as hemimelia, are not yet known.

What is Hemimelia?

Worldwide, one to three children in every 50,000, are born with congenital malformation of fibular hemimelia, while another three or four per 50,000 have some other kind of physical deformity, such as clubfoot (according to Orphanet, a European consortium nonprofit that researches and records the incidence of rare diseases).

According to Dr. Edgardo R. Rodriguez, fibular hemimelia is a congenital longitudinal deficiency of the extremities, characterized by partial or complete absence of the fibula. He also states that amputation should be considered only in cases of longitudinal discrepancy and severe deformities of the affected limbs. CLESF always supports and promotes the correction and lengthening of the limb by external fixation.

Specific causes have not been yet determined, but Orphanet estimates that the deformation is caused by disturbances during the critical period of embryonic development of limbs, during the four and seven week of pregnancy. Possible causes suggested: vascular dysgenesis, viral infections, trauma, and environmental influences; many cases are sporadic. In a very small percentage, family history of a mode of autosomal dominant inheritance and incomplete penetrance has been described.

The majority surgeries performed through CLESF’ mission work are hemimelia cases. Others are cases are different types of deformities (such as charcot or clubfoot), or complications in lower extremities due to obesity and/or diabetes.

CLESF has documented several of the procedures undertaken via the medical mission. Click here to view the details.

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