Is Limb Lengthening Covered By Insurance?
If being one of the shortest people you know is affecting your self-esteem or causing other problems for you, adding 3-6 inches to your height is more possible than you might think. While there's nothing wrong with being short, increasing your height can increase your confidence, happiness, and ability to be employed in certain areas. However, it is important to understand that this procedure is quite costly and unlikely to be fully covered by your health insurance policy.
What Is Limb Lengthening?
If you've ever wished you were a few inches taller, limb lengthening may be the perfect solution. This cosmetic surgical procedure gives patients the opportunity to grow taller by adding up to six inches to the length of the leg bones. Similar procedures can also be used to correct deformed or damaged leg bones.
Depending on your current height and preferences, you have a few different limb lengthening options to choose from. If you're only looking to add a few inches to your height, a single procedure may be done to lengthen one pair of bones by up to three inches. The femur (thighbone) is most commonly used for this option, while the tibia (shinbone) can also be used. Both pairs of bones can also be lengthened at least a few weeks apart to obtain an even more noticeable height difference.
Limb lengthening can be a life-changing opportunity for the right person, but it's important to understand the costs you will encounter before, during, and after your procedure and have a plan for paying for them if your insurance company does not provide full coverage.
How Much Does Limb Lengthening Cost?
While limb lengthening can be an excellent decision for the right person, it is not an inexpensive one. Here is an overview of the expenses to expect before, during, and after your limb lengthening procedure, many of which may not be covered by your insurance company.
Your height lengthening journey will begin with an online or in-person consultation that gives our experts the opportunity to assess your current height and how many inches you are interested in getting out of the procedure. We will also take x-rays of your legs and go over any health, financial, or other concerns to make sure you are a good candidate for limb lengthening. This consultation costs $800.
Limb Lengthening Surgery Expenses
Your surgical procedure itself will typically cost between $75,000 and $155,000 depending on which option (femur lengthening, tibia lengthening, or both) is the best fit for you. This figure will rise by $5,000 if you choose to upgrade to a STRYDE weight-bearing nail instead of a typical precise nail, which will significantly shorten and simplify your recovery time, and there will also be an additional $1,750 anesthesia fee.
Physical therapy and medications will be significant expenses following your limb lengthening surgery. These appointments, which generally cost between $1500-$3000 per month, will be necessary to finish the lengthening of your bones and to help you regain strength and range of motion in your legs. Fortunately, physical therapy is often easier to get covered by insurance than your limb lengthening surgery itself is.
You'll also need to account for your recovery time, which typically lasts between 3-4 months. If you have an especially physical job, you may not be able to work at all during this time, and most other patients will also miss a less significant amount of work. Making sure that you have the finances to manage without income during this time if needed is a must to make sure you will not push your body too far too quickly while you are still using crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair. We also recommend staying in Los Angeles throughout the entire procedure and recovery process if you are from out of the area, which may require significant hotel or other accommodation expenses.
Removing the nail after your limb lengthening is complete typically costs between $13,000-$15,000, though we do try to use insurance for this part of the procedure whenever possible.
Is Limb Lengthening Covered By Insurance?
Because limb lengthening is considered a cosmetic procedure, it is much more difficult to get covered by insurance than medically necessary surgeries. Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not consider cosmetic procedures to be urgent enough to cover because they do not correct an illness or injury. Additional expenses that are related to your procedure, such as physical therapy and medications, are often easier to get covered than the procedure itself, and insurance will typically cover any complications that may arise from your surgery because at that point treating them does become medically necessary.
Other Options for Paying for Limb Lengthening
Fortunately, you will not necessarily have to pay for your limb lengthening out of pocket if your insurance company does not cover it, though this is always an option if you have the funds and would prefer to do so. Most patients take advantage of our Care Credit program, which works much like a credit card to finance your procedure. With this program, you can make manageable payments each month that are based on the amount of coverage you qualify for. Care Credit can also be combined with insurance if your policy only provides a portion of the coverage you need.
At Height Lengthening, we know that adding a few extra inches can go a long way toward boosting your confidence, happiness, and--in some industries--employability. Although limb lengthening was little more than science fiction decades ago, modern technology has made increasing your height easier and safer than ever.
However, it's important to understand that it is an expensive procedure that your insurance is unlikely to cover and have a plan for making monthly payments before getting started to make sure you get to enjoy your new height instead of allowing it to become a financial burden. We will work with you to create an individualized plan that works for you before committing to a limb lengthening procedure. Contact us today to learn more about limb lengthening or to schedule your consultation!