Questions and Answers about Leg Lengthening
Q: Is it possible to become taller using pills or chemicals?
A: No. Categorically not. Once you have stopped growing, the growth plates in your bones fuse and this prevents any further growth of your bones. Bones are the major contributing factor to your height. Any company claiming to offer pills, chemicals, machinery or other magical solutions to permanent height increase are trying to scam people. No such solution has ever been proven to work.
Q: How does Leg Lengthening work?
A: It involves one or more of the bones in a limb being broken, and then the two separate parts of that bone being slowly pulled apart (distracted). Normally this involves small adjustments done several times a day. Bone regenerates in this situation, and new bone cells will be produced and will fill the space in the break. The new bone will not be fully hardened (consolidate) for over a year, but should be strong enough to support walking within a few months of surgery. There are a number of different techniques, some involving only internal procedures, others using external and sometimes a combination of the two. The principle was discovered by Professor Ilizarov of Russia, and the standard external device for lengthening or leg correction is called the Ilizarov frame. There are many alternatives, but nearly all are based on the principles discovered by Professor Ilizarov.
Q: How much can Leg Lengthening allow me to grow?
The human body has astonishing growth abilities, and significant height increases have been realised by people with growth deficiencies. Technically, in excess of 12 inches is possible where medical reasons dictate. For cosmetic reasons, most surgeons recommend a maximum of 5cm per limb, but up to 12cm is possible with some techniques. However, excessive lengthening may cause problems with the patient's bodily proportions which may make them unattractive. It may also lead to future health problems such as premature arthritis, bone weakness or muscle atrophy.
Q: Does it hurt?
Yes! There is certainly some pain involved in leg lengthening (LL), but it most cases the pain is manageable using painkillers and therapies. Some people may find the pain unbearable and be able to continue with the treatment, others will experience very little pain and discomfort. In general, internal methods are less painful than external methods but there are no 'pain-free' treatments available.
Q: How long does it take?
For an increase of 5cm (50mm) a normal, healthy adult should expect the whole process to take about 6 months from operation, to being able to walk again. Some people will take longer. For those who are particularly fit, healthy and have a high pain tolerance, it may be possible to do it more quickly. Whilst the bone can regenerate at a rate of 1mm per day, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and tendons grow more slowly, and so a lengthening rate of 0.666mm per day is recommended as the maximum for a normal, healthy adult. A strong person with an above-average level of fitness may be able to achieve a rate of 0.833mm per day. Some doctors allow 1.00mm per day lengthening, but at this pace of lengthening, muscle and tendon problems are common, especially with the knees and ankles. (Opinion: We strongly advises against lengthening any faster than 0.666mm per day).
Q: Is it dangerous?
All unnecessary cosmetic surgery carries an element of danger and should doctors should ensure that their patients fully understand all of the risks and potential complications before they accept them for surgery. Whilst there are very few reports of serious injury or limb loss, it is a possibility with this type of surgery.
Q: How much does it cost?
The full costs for an LL treatment of 5cm are likely to be between 12,500 and 125,000 US Dollars depending on a number of factors.
Q: What are the acute side effects of the height increasing procedure?
A: During the limb lengthening procedure there may be such side effects as pain, itching, inflammations, pin site infections and slow consolidation of the lengthening gaps. However, since the patients are under our physicians' control, serious complication such as loss of leg function is rarely happened. Most of the minor complications are dealt with promptly and free of charge in our hospital.
Leg Lengthening And Reducing
Leg lengthening and shortening are types of surgery to treat some children who have legs of unequal lengths.
These procedures may:
Lengthen an abnormally short leg
Shorten an abnormally long leg
Limit growth of a normal leg to allow a short leg to grow to a matching length
This series of treatments involves several surgical procedures, a long recovery period, and a number of risks -- but it can add up to 6 inches of length to a leg.
While the child is under general anesthesia:
The bone to be lengthened is cut.
Metal pins or screws are inserted through the skin and into the bone. Pins are placed above and below the cut in the bone, and the surgical cut in the skin is stitched closed.
A metal device (usually some sort of external frame) is attached to the pins in the bone. It will be used later to very slowly (over months) pull the cut bone apart. This creates a space between the ends of the cut bone that will fill in with new bone.
Later, when the leg has reached the desired length and has healed (usually after several months), another surgical procedure will be done to remove the pins.
BONE RESECTION OR REMOVAL
This is a complicated surgery that can produce a very precise degree of correction.
While the child is under general anesthesia:
The bone to be shortened is cut and a section of bone is removed.
The ends of the cut bone will be joined and a metal plate with screws or a nail down the center of the bone is placed across the bone incision to hold it in place during healing.
BONE GROWTH RESTRICTION
Bone growth takes place at the growth plates (physes) at each end of long bones.
While the child is under general anesthesia, the surgeons make a surgical cut over the growth plate at the end of the bone in the longer leg.
The growth plate may be destroyed by scraping or drilling it (epiphysiodesis or physeal arrest) to stop further growth at that growth plate.
Another method is to insert staples on each side of the bony growth plate. These can be removed when both legs are close to the same length.
REMOVAL OF IMPLANTED METAL DEVICES
Metal pins, screws, staples, or plates may be used to stabilize bone during healing. Most orthopedic surgeons prefer to wait several months to a year before removing any large metal implants. Removal of implanted devices requires another surgical procedure using general anesthesia.
Why the Procedure is Performed
Leg lengthening is considered for large differences in leg length (more than 5 cm or 2 inches). Leg lengthening is more likely to be recommended:
For children whose bones are still growing
For patients who were short to begin with
Leg shortening or restricting is considered for smaller differences (less than 5 cm or 2 inches). Shortening a longer leg may be recommended for children whose bones are no longer growing.
Bone growth restriction is recommended for children whose bones are still growing. It is used to restrict the growth of a longer bone, while the shorter bone continues to grow to match its length. Proper timing of this treatment is important to ensure good results.
Medical illnesses that lead to severely unequal leg lengths include the following:
Poliomyelitis and cerebral palsy
Small, weak (atrophied) muscles or short, tight (spastic) muscles, which may cause deformities and prevent normal leg growth
Hip diseases such as Legg-Perthes disease
Previous injuries or bone fractures that may stimulate excessive bone growth
Birth defects (congenital deformities) of bones, joints, muscles, tendons, or ligaments
Risks for any anesthesia include:
Reactions to medications
Risks for any surgery include:
Additional risks include:
Bone growth restriction (epiphysiodesis), which may cause short height
Bone infection (osteomyelitis)
Injury to blood vessels
Poor bone healing
After the Procedure
After bone growth restriction:
It is common for children to spend up to a week in the hospital. Sometimes a cast is placed on the leg for 3 to 4 weeks.
Healing is complete in 8 to 12 weeks, at which time the child can restart full activities.
After bone shortening:
It is common for children to spend 2 to 3 weeks in the hospital. Sometimes a cast is placed on the leg for 3 to 4 weeks.
Muscle weakness is common, and muscle strengthening exercises are started soon after surgery.
Crutches are used for 6 to 8 weeks.
Some children take 6 to 12 weeks to regain normal knee control and function.
A metal rod placed inside the bone is removed at 1 year.
After bone lengthening:
The child will spend a week or longer in the hospital.
Frequent visits to the doctor are needed to adjust the lengthening device. How long the lengthening devidce is used depends on the amount of lengthening needed. Physical therapy is needed to maintain normal range of motion.
Special care of the pins or screws holding the device is needed to prevent infection.
How long it takes the bone to heal depends on the amount of lengthening. Each centimeter of lengthening takes 36 days of healing.
Because the blood vessels, muscles, and skin are involved, careful and frequent checking of the skin color, temperature, and sensation of the foot and toes is important. This will help identify any damage to blood vessels, muscles, or nerves as early as possible.
Bone growth restriction (epiphysiodesis) is usually successful when it is performed at the correct time in the growth period. However, it may cause short stature.
Bone shortening may achieve more exact correction than bone restriction, but it requires a much longer recovery period.
Bone lengthening is completely successful only 40% of the time, and has a much higher rate of complications.
Epiphysiodesis; Epiphyseal arrest; Correction of unequal bone length; Bone lengthening; Bone shortening; Femoral lengthening; Femoral shortening
Beaty H. Congenital anomalies of the lower extremity. In: Canale ST, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2007:chap 26.
Hosalkar HS, Gholve PA, Spiegel DA. Leg-length discrepancy. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 675.
What Are Height Insoles
If you want to look taller, then you may want to consider using height insoles. These handy little inserts can easily help you appear taller instantly, so that you feel more confident in your appearance overall. These inserts are widely available, and are an affordable way to look taller, as well.
What Do They Look Like?
Height insoles are simple pieces of soft, comfortable materials that fit right into your shoes. You can choose from many different materials, including flexible foam and silicone. When you are just beginning to use insoles to become taller, you may want to pick up several pairs of different materials to find the type that suits your personal tastes best. Most insoles are sold at a very affordable price, so don��t worry if you need to buy a few pairs before you find the set that is most comfortable for your personal needs.
Most height insoles are also invisible with a pair of loafers or sneakers, too. This is very beneficial if you want to wear your insoles to work or during the evening when you go out. You can also take your insoles with you when you are shopping for new shoes to ensure the insole is totally covered, and that the shoe fits well with the insole. Most insoles fit into any shoe comfortably, however, so if you need to order shoes you don��t have to worry about the insole not fitting properly. All insoles are sold in common sizes, so that the insole fits your size perfectly.
How Do They Work?
A height insole is made with a slim upper that fits under the toes, and a thick one to two inch pad that fits under the heel. This lift works to increase your height by up to two inches, but when you combine the insole with a show that has a taller heel you can actually become taller by up to four inches, depending on the shoe that you choose. Many people feel totally comfortable wearing a combination of taller heels and insoles, and so can you. If you do feel as if it is obvious that you are so much taller, then simply give yourself a couple of days to become accustomed to the height difference.
Chances are good that your height insoles will give you the confidence that you need to feel great about your appearance. Since height insoles work instantly to increase your height, you don��t have to worry about taking supplements, joining a gym or eating odd foods to become taller. One of the biggest advantages to choosing this method of becoming taller is that it really is a simple and effective way to increase your height instantly.
Most height insoles are very inexpensive, typically less than ten dollars per pair. You can stock up on insoles so that you always have an extra pair, just in case one pair gets lost or damaged.
Shoe Lifts For The Treatment Of Lower Back Pain
For people suffering from lower back pain or leg length discrepancies, the use of Shoe Lifts can be very beneficial. The use of Shoe Lifts can gently and gradually take the pain out of your daily life and make walking and standing that much more comfortable and pain-free. A heel lift is essentially a shoe insole that simply fits into your shoes and elevates your heels at an angle that takes the pressure off of your lower back, hips, shoulders, neck, and of course ankles. Often called shoe lifts or shoe inserts, these inserts can be made from a range of materials such as flexible plastic, hard foam, or a combination of the two materials. It is not generally recommended to start using Shoe Lifts without prior consultation with a doctor who specializes in this area, or at least with your own general physician. If used incorrectly or used when not required, these shoe inserts can make any existing injuries or pain a lot worse rather than better. With the proper guidance of a foot and back specialist you will undergo a series of tests to determine if these insoles will indeed help to eliminate your aches and pains or if they will fix any leg length discrepancies (depending on what your specific problem is). If a heel lift or adjustable heel is required, you will probably need to get custom-made inserts for your shoes. You will also be required to bring in the shoes you wear most frequently and inserts will be made that fit both your heel and arch as well as your shoes. Be sure to follow the advice of your doctor when starting out with your shoe inserts. You will not be able to start out using them all day and everyday, since it will take a while for your body to adjust to the new foot and back alignment. If you�re not sure if your condition requires Shoe Lifts, here is a brief list of some of the most common issues or health problems for which these shoe lifts are prescribed or suggested: - For the recovery of Achilles tendon injuries - To help eliminate the effects of scoliosis - To enable physical therapy for stroke patients who have issues with their gait - Takes the pressure off of your lower back to alleviate disc pain - Helps you correct any imbalances in the pelvis - Helps you to improve upon your spinal strength and stability As you can see there are a wide-range of symptoms and conditions that can be alleviated and fixed with the simple addition of Shoe Lifts. If you suffer from any of these conditions or injuries, it is worth taking the time to consult your doctor or physical therapist about the use of Shoe Lifts. When talking to your doctor or physical therapist be sure to fully explain your symptoms and bring the shoes that you wear most frequently with you on your visit. This way the specialists can assess how and when to best have you using Shoe Lifts.
How To Beat Height Discrimination
It is so sad to see so much discrimination in the world today. Discrimination does not just involve race, color, creed or sex. Would you be amazed if I told you that there is such a thing as height discrimination Discriminating against someone because of their heigh does sound ridiculous but believe me it exists and can be just as hurtful as any of the other bettern known varieties of discrimination. I have suffered my whole life from height discrimination, from the teasing and bullying at school to the not so obvious discriminatory tacticts employed in the workplace. I am lucky that I have found a solution, it is maybe not everybodies answer but it has worked for me and continues to do so. Without heel lifts, yes heel lifts, I might still be looked over for promotion, ignored by the majority of the opposite sex and suffer feelings of worthlessness and obviously have very very little self confidence.
When I first heard about heel lifts, I was still a teenager with problems in all the ususl aspects of life. Spots, enormous failings with the opposite sex and I was as shy as is humanly possible. I was well aware of the social phobia that was associated with heel lifts and how they were looked down on. I very nearly didnt try them, believe me I was terrified of having them discovered by someone not least my closest friends. I finally worked up the courage to buy some heel lifts and hurried to the local shops to buy some. I was to be disapointed. Nowhere in my local town could I find even a hint of any heel lifts. I was devastated, It had taken me a long time to pluck up the courage and now I was denied. It nearly ended there, I had fantasized about gaining height and now I was feeling more depressed than ever.
I was reading a national newspaper when the answer hit me, inside the paper was a classified adverts section and right at the top of the page was a small advertisment, extolling the virtues of a good height and offering to give the reader that extra height by means of a miracle new product, heel lifts !!
I was delighted, here was a chance to order heel lifts through the post, have them delivered to my door, in a plain brown package, no need for a traumatic trip to the local shops, no need for any embarrassment while asking a beautiful shop girl where the heel lifts were shelved. I sent off my moneyto the post box advertised and waited with bated breath for the prize to arrive. When my heel lifts arrived I was delighted that the wait was over and by the obvious increase in height they gave to me. I was now on level terms with the rest of humanity and knew straight away that my life had changed for the better.
That was over 20 years ago and I am still a user of heel lifts, I am though, now amazed at the improvements made to the miracle product. They are available in so many styles and so many gradients of height increase. Some are adjustable, adding or taking away components to adjust the possible height gain, some are full insole inserts and some are half insole inserts. Some are even transparent and sold with the claim of invisibility, I have never used the invisible heel lifts and so cannot comment on their effectiveness but have no reason to doubt the claims. Anyway if you are at your wits end and feel that your lack of height has resigned you to a life of torment, do not give up. There is an answer to your lack of self confidence, there is an answer to all your worries, it does not even require the price of a newspaper, just log on to the internet and withing minutes you will have secure yourself a pair of life saving heel lifts.