Congenital Femoral Deficiency, Fibular Hemimelia Virginia Dr. Herzenberg
Matt in midair shooting out of a swimming pool tube slide before his second surgery When Matthew was first diagnosed with a congenital short femur and fibular hemimelia, his father Christopher shares, “Honestly, the biggest concern that we had as a family was the unknown. We had no idea what to expect or how we would make things work. The staff at the hospital was so accommodating and helpful.”

He continues, “Matthew’s projected difference in limb length was 6-7 inches. Since his diagnosis approximately 13 years ago, Matthew has had eight surgeries and is slated for a couple more. During most of Matthew’s childhood, he has been able to have a normal life, full of activities and sports. Matthew has been able to participate in school activities, baseball, soccer and pretty much whatever he wants to do physically. If he wears pants to hide the scars on his legs you wouldn’t know that Matthew had ever had surgeries.”

Portrait of Matt wearing a shoe lift when he was 3 years old “With all that said, the Rubin Institute has improved my family’s outlook on life and compassion toward their fellow man. Matthew has always had a big heart but in meeting so many children with disabilities he has learned to never judge anyone else because of their physical or mental limitations. Matthew’s little sister (Samantha) has been by her brother’s side the entire time and has the same outlook. In fact, she has maintained for years that when she grows up, she wants to be a doctor and help others like her brother. Not only has the Rubin Institute fixed Matthew’s leg, but it has helped to make his family more thoughtful individuals.”

“Matthew loves Dr. Herzenberg. From Matthew’s first surgeries they had a special bond. Matthew and Dr. Herzenberg would go toe to toe in these big negotiation battles regarding treatments. Thank God, Dr. Herzenberg normally won. There was not a staff member at the hospital that didn’t go out of their way to make sure that each patient was comfortable and felt special. The doctors and the Rubin Institute are among the best in the world. I feel completely confident in the decisions that they make and treatments that they recommend.”

While Dr. Herzenberg has retired from providing patient care, Dr. Philip McClure and Dr. Shawn Standard are available to treat these conditions.

  • Matt on a hospital bed with an external fixator on one leg
  • Matt wearing an external fixator on one leg showing his arm muscles when he was 4
  • Matt at age 11 with crutches after lengthening was completed