WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Marina Borogin was born with a leg and foot deformity.
"When Marina was born, our local doctors suggested the amputation," Anastasia Tolstikhin said of her 4-year-old daughter. "That was the only option."
Like so many families in similar circumstances, they found themselves in sunny South Florida at the Paley Orthopedic and Spine Institute at St. Mary's Medical Center.
"It's amazing," she said. "We are so grateful."
It is Marina's second limb lengthening procedure with Dr. Dror Paley.
"So far, so good," Tolstikhin said. "It's been a completely different experience than when she had an external fixator. (She is) pain free. She's feeling good. She's sleeping good."
Paley is the first surgeon in the world to perform a new limb procedure using the plate implant.
"This device sits on the side of the bone," he said. "So it is a lengthening plate."
It's also described as an all-internal remote-controlled limb-lengthening device.
"It's a much smaller procedure," Paley said. "The treatment time is way shorter."
Paley calls it life-changing for patients involved in limb-lengthening treatment.
"It's a game-changer because we can do younger children than we could ever do before, probably down to 2 years of age," Paley said.
It replaces arduous, older techniques like external fixators for young and old.
"Nobody likes a device attached on the outside of their leg," he said. "If you can put it inside, it's more comfortable. It's more attractive. It's safer. It's less pain and no infections."
It is a welcome evolution of technology in limb-lengthening that is evident in this little girl's happiness.
"We are extremely excited," her father, Alex Borogin, said.