Lower Leg Fat Grafting

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have mild muscular dystrophy that has left my right leg and ankle much smaller than my left. I have two calf implants in now but my ankle and the inside of my leg are still much smaller. Is there any way you think you could help?

A: Calf implants do a good job of increasing the size of the upper half of the lower leg between the knee and ankle. But its augmentation effect stops where the gastrocnemius and soleus muscle meets which is about halfway between the knee and ankle. One way to augment the lower half of the leg and continue the effects created by the calf implants are fat injections. As long as one has enough fat to harvest, fat injection augmentation can be done in the lower half of the leg. (leg fat grafting) Its biggest problem is in how well the fat will survive which can be difficult in the tight tissues of the lower half of the lower leg. Multiple fat injection sessions may be required.

Another option would be a custom made implant for the lower leg. But this has a much higher risk of complications than calf implants do because of its subcutaneous location as opposed to that of a subfascial one.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana