In the past, limb lengthening procedures were reserved only for those who had medical reasons to have the surgery. Now, people of short stature are able to take advantage of this life-changing surgery in order to become taller. With cosmetic leg lengthening surgery - you can add up to six inches to your current height.
Height enhancement surgery - then and now
Limb lengthening surgery was developed in the early 1950s to help those who suffered from congenital deformities, deformities caused by cerebral palsy or trauma and dwarfism - as well as those who had suffered from polio. This procedure gave hope of longer, straighter limbs to people who thought there was no way to change their stature. It was a miracle for those who had suffered from crippling deformities.
Things have changed when it comes to this highly developed surgical procedure. It is now being offered as a cosmetic procedure to increase height.
Why choose limb lengthening surgery
Many people are unhappy with their height. They may have tried various methods to gain inches - but to no avail. For some, constantly feeling inadequate due to their short stature can cause a serious effect on how they view themselves and how they interact with others.
In a world where physical attributes play such an important part in how people are perceived, people of short stature may feel overlooked. Men who are of short stature may have a more difficult time socially than their taller counterparts. Dating and job advancement can be more challenging for men who are shorter than average.
Limb lengthening procedure - how it works
Leg lengthening surgery has come a long way over the last decade. New techniques and orthopedic devices have made the procedure minimally invasive with faster recovery and fewer complications.
Procedure. Leg lengthening surgery takes place in a hospital setting, with a stay of one to three days. Following the administration of general anesthesia, your orthopedic surgeon will make a small incision into your leg and/or thigh bone of each leg. An adjustable internal device will be placed.
When your surgery is complete, you will awake from the anesthesia. The pain you experience from the procedure can be easily managed with medications.
The internal device. The purpose of the internal device is to very gradually pull the bone apart, approximately 1mm each day.
The growth of new bone is accomplished by adjusting the internal device as directed by your orthopedic surgeon. With these adjustments, the space between the ends of the leg bones opens up. The body continues to fill in the gap and new bone, soft tissue, muscles, blood supply and nerves which fill in the space. This happens over time until the desired length of the bone has been reached.
Being mobile. Once you are released from the hospital you will be using a walker. It is important to start weight bearing slowly. As your bones heal, you will gradually be able to bear additional weight. Weight bearing helps the healing process and bone growth. It is important that you follow your post-operative instructions on weight bearing carefully.
Physical therapy. An important part of your recovery is physical therapy. Physical therapy helps to maximize your range of motion and improve strength. Therapists who have been specifically trained to assist those who have had leg lengthening surgery will work with you on a frequent basis. It is important to the success of your surgery that you are committed to doing your physical therapy exercises as directed by your therapists.
Are you a candidate for limb lengthening surgery?
If you are in good general health - you can be a candidate for heightening enhancement surgery. Those with serious illnesses such as heart or lung disease - or chronic infections may not be good candidates. If you are obese, your orthopedic surgeon may advise that you lose weight prior to the procedure.
The procedure is for individuals whose bones have finished growing, which usually occurs at around the age of 16.
Getting ready for your surgery
Anytime you have surgery you want to be in top form. Going into the weeks prior to your procedure it is especially important for you to maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.
Starting out your recovery in the best shape possible will make your recovery time easier and shorter. Make sure you follow the directions of your orthopedic surgeon regarding taking medications prior to surgery (this includes herbal supplements).
Adding up to six inches to your height may sound like a dream, but it can be a reality with leg lengthening surgery. If you believe you are a candidate for this life-changing surgery, the first thing to do is consult with your trusted orthopedic surgeon. It is important that you have realistic expectations regarding the recovery and outcome of the procedure - and only your orthopedic surgeon can give you that detailed information.