Height increase surgery, also known as limb-lengthening surgery, is a surgical procedure that aims to increase a person's height by breaking bones in the legs and allowing them to heal in a slightly longer position. This process can add several inches to a person's height, making it an attractive option for people with a genetic disorder called dwarfism, as well as those looking to increase their height for cosmetic reasons.
The surgery is a complex and lengthy process that typically takes several months to complete. It involves a multi-stage procedure that begins with the surgeon making small incisions in the legs and attaching metal rods to the bones. These rods are then gradually adjusted over time, which causes the bones to break and heal in a slightly longer position. This process is known as distraction osteogenesis.
The surgery is typically performed in a hospital setting and patients will need to stay in the hospital for several weeks after the procedure. The recovery process can be painful and patients will need to use crutches or a wheelchair for several months while the bones heal. Physical therapy is also a crucial part of the recovery process, as it helps to strengthen the muscles and improve range of motion.
While height increase surgery can have many potential benefits, it also carries many potential risks and complications. These include infection, nerve damage, blood clots, chronic pain, and arthritis in the affected joints. There is also a risk of the bones not healing properly.
The cost of height increase surgery can be quite high and it is not typically covered by insurance. The cost can vary depending on the location and the specific procedure, but it can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In recent years, many innovations have been made in the field of height increase surgery. One of the most popular method is Precice 2, an intramedullary nail system that offers a more painless, safe, and comfortable lengthening experience. The Precice 2 method eliminates the need for external fixation and provides height increase by an external remote control (ERC). It is considered one of the safest limb lengthening methods and allows patients to lengthen up to 6 cm in the tibia and 8 cm in the femur.
Another popular limb lengthening technique is the LON Method, also known as the Lengthening Over Nails method. This method combines the use of intramedullary nails and external fixators, and offers a shorter term usage of external fixators (3-3,5 months). It allows patients to walk during the lengthening phase and patients can start normal walking within 4-5 months. The LON method is considered safe and affordable.
Another method is the Ilizarov method, which uses an external fixator to lengthen the bones. The Ilizarov method is considered a more invasive procedure than the Precice 2 and LON methods, as it requires the use of an external fixator. The Ilizarov method can be used to lengthen bones in the legs, arms, and spine, but it has a longer recovery time and a higher risk of complications.
Lastly, the ISKD method (Internal Skeletal Kinetic Distractor) is a newer method that uses an internal device to lengthen the bones. This method is considered less invasive than the Ilizarov method, as it does not require the use of an external fixator. The ISKD method has a shorter recovery time and a lower risk of complications than the Ilizarov method.
It's important to note that height increase surgery is a major and permanent procedure and is not recommended for everyone.