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Distracting Effects Placed Across the Epiphyses of Long Bones:  A Study in Experimental Animals

William N. Harsha, M.D.
JAMA. 1962;179(10):776-780. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050100030006a.
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THE CRIPPLING, as well as cosmetic problems related to discrepancy of extremity length have been a problem to the orthopedic surgeon from time immemorial. Such discrepancies are numerous, generally relating to active growth. Irregularities such as active infection, tumor growth, metabolic and endocrinological or vascular abnormality are excluded.

Purpose of Experiment and Previous Work

The basic attempt of this preliminary report is to assay the effects of certain types of distracting forces placed across the otherwise apparently normal epiphysis of the distal end of the femur of experimental animals. The theory of the work is not new, but a well controlled experiment, to my knowledge, has not been carried out. There are many reasons why this type of experiment is extremely difficult to do on a sound scientific basis, and the results of this paper may be criticized because of the lack of accurate control, the variance as to species

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