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Limb Lengthening FAQs

Get the most accurate information on the procedure, recovery, and post-op care. Learn about what to expect before, during, and after surgery

How many centimeters can I gain with limb lengthening surgery?

Leg lengthening procedures can help individuals gain significant height. With a single procedure, the recommended amount is around 8 cm in the femur or 5-7 cm in the tibia. If you want more, you can opt for two surgeries. This means that by combining both, you can gain up to 13-15 cm. However, exceeding these recommended limits can lead to complications, and our priority is always patient safety.

In terms of techniques, the LON Method can provide up to 10 cm in the femur and 5-7 cm in the tibia. On the other hand, Precice 2 offers up to 8 cm in the femur and the same 5-7 cm in the tibia. Both methods progress at a rate of 1 mm per day, allowing you to achieve around 8 cm in 80 days. To maximize height gain, especially targeting 8-10 cm in the femur, you need to maintain flexible muscles, receive proper post-operative care, and engage in consistent physiotherapy. If you're aiming for even more than 15 cm, a third surgery might be an option after waiting 1-2 years.

What are the eligibility criteria for limb lengthening surgery?

 

To have this surgery, you must be a healthy adult with fully developed bones. Meaning your growth plates should be closed, typically happening between 16 and 18 but can go even further up to 20 years old. You also shouldn’t be a smoker and need to be mentally ready as well as financially prepared for the procedure. There isn’t a strict height requirement for this surgery but every case is individually reviewed. Ideally, it’s suitable for people under 50 years old, but don’t let that discourage you. If you’re an older individual in good health you might still be a candidate if you meet certain criteria. It’s really important to consult with your doctor before making any decisions so they can evaluate your health condition and ongoing treatment before giving their opinion.


When can I return to my daily life after limb lengthening surgery?

Returning to daily activities after surgery is a gradual process, influenced by the method used - like the LON method or Precice 2 - and whether the femur or tibia is lengthened. Recovery also depends on your age, health, and individual healing rate. Generally, you can expect to return to everyday life and work within 4 to 5 months after one surgery. The initial stage of recovery involves a daily lengthening process at a 1mm per day rate, lasting around 80-100 days for femur lengthening aiming for 8-10 cm, and 50-70 days for 5-7 cm in the tibia.

 

After the lengthening phase is over, the bone consolidation phase begins. If you had surgery with the LON method, external fixators are removed with a minor operation.  After that, you can fly back home and return to your daily life.

 

You may require assistance with a walker and crutches for 2-8 weeks before gradually transitioning to walking without any assistance. As your bones consolidate over time, It typically takes about 4-5 months after surgery to walk as normal as before.

 

Moderate physical activities can typically be resumed after 6+ months as your bones continue to consolidate and strengthen. Full recovery, which includes the ability to participate in high-impact activities like running and weightlifting, usually occurs within 9-12 months after surgery.

How much does limb lengthening surgery cost? 

 

Stature lengthening surgery can be a complex and expensive procedure. The cost of the surgery can vary significantly depending on the specific procedure being performed, the surgeon's experience, and the location where the surgery is being performed.

In general, the cost of surgery can range from tens of thousands of dollars to more than $100,000, depending on the country, surgeon and method used. It is important to discuss the cost of the surgery with your surgeon and to get a detailed estimate of the costs involved before proceeding with the procedure.

What are the limb lengthening surgery methods you use? Which one is the best?

There are several methods available, each with its own advantages. These are:

The LON method is a modern technique that utilizes an external fixator, resulting in a faster recovery time compared to traditional methods. It also poses a lower risk of complications and allows patients to walk during the distraction (lengthening) phase. Regular wound care and dressing are required during the lengthening phase.

The PRECICE 2 method uses an internal nail, made of titanium alloy, to lengthen the bone. This method is less invasive and allows for faster recovery times compared to traditional methods. However, the patient is required to use a wheelchair during the distraction (lengthening) phase as the nail cannot bear the patient's full body weight.

The Stryde method (production has been stopped and is not available worldwide) also uses an internal nail to lengthen the bone. It is also less invasive and has a faster recovery time compared to traditional methods. Additionally, it allows patients to walk during the distraction (lengthening) phase.

Does leg lengthening surgery make you look disproportionate?

It is natural to have concerns about potential changes in body proportions after undergoing height increase surgery. However, if your arms are not abnormally short, the amount of height you gain through the procedure is unlikely to make you look disproportionate.

 

The goal of this procedure is to restore proportion and symmetry to the patient's body, rather than to create an unnatural or disproportionate appearance. Many patients who have undergone this surgery have not reported feeling disproportionate as a result of the procedure.

 

It is also worth noting that many people who have considered arm lengthening surgery have found that their leg and arm lengths are already proportional, and have therefore chosen not to undergo the procedure.

Can you run after leg lengthening surgery?

 

Yes, you can run after you have fully recovered from leg lengthening surgery. When the growing bone heals, the new bone becomes as strong as any other bone in the body. It does not deteriorate or weaken over time. As a result, you will be able to do all the physical activities you did before the surgery, including running.


Does leg lengthening surgery leave scars?


All leg lengthening surgery methods leave surgical scars on the legs. However, Internal methods such as Precice Stryde and Precice 2 leave less scarring, while the LON method leaves slightly more surgical scars.


Dr.Yuksel Yurttas performs operations with the smallest possible scar with 25 years of experience and minimally invasive surgical techniques. In addition, a subcuticular suture (A suture technique that gives the best aesthetic appearance) is offered free of charge to all of our patients.

How to get limb lengthening surgery?

 

You are where you need to start. First, contact us for a free consultation. Then, according to your demands and budget, our expert consultants will plan all stages from consultation to full recovery with you.

Read this article to learn more about the consultation, travel planning, and surgery preparation stages of surgery.

Are there any possible risks, complications, and side effects of limb lengthening surgery?

 

As with any surgery, this surgery can also cause various risks, complications, and side effects. The surgeon and experienced healthcare team are cautious about these possible risks and inform you in advance. We apply appropriate treatment and resolve the complication in case of any complications. 


Is limb lengthening surgery dangerous?

Height increase surgery is a complex and serious surgical procedure that requires specialized training and experience. As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications, most of which come from the post-operative process. However, when performed by a highly experienced and skilled surgeon - like Dr. Yurttas - the procedure has a high success rate of over 98%.

 

Post-operative physiotherapy and care are as important as the surgery itself. Commitment to a recommended rehabilitation program is important for a successful recovery and returning to daily life as quickly as possible. Each patient should weigh the pros and cons carefully before deciding on height surgery.

Can I work remotely in the lengthening phase after limb lengthening surgery?

It is generally not recommended to work remotely during the postoperative phase after this surgery, as this type of surgery typically requires a significant amount of rest and physical therapy in order to heal properly. After surgery, you will likely need to spend several weeks or months recovering, and you may need to use crutches or a wheelchair for a period of time. During this time, it may be difficult to perform your job duties, especially if they require a lot of physical activity or movement.

However, it is possible that you may be able to work remotely on a limited basis if your job duties can be performed from a seated or lying down position, and if you are able to take breaks as needed to rest and allow your body to heal. It is important to discuss your specific situation with your surgeon and the healthcare team to determine what arrangements can be made to allow you to work remotely while you are recovering from surgery.


Where to get limb lengthening surgery?


The USA, Germany, and Turkey are the most popular destinations for height-lengthening surgery. However, these procedures are very expensive in the USA and Europe. On the other hand, Türkiye offers the same quality of surgical service is offered at much lower prices.


For a safe lengthening experience, it is essential to choose the right surgeon for you. Assoc.Prof.Dr. Yuksel Yurttas offers you safe and affordable height surgery and post-operative care services with 25 years of experience. In this article, you can find the best surgeons and costs from all over the world.


Can athletes undergo limb lengthening surgery?

Yes, athletes can undergo this surgery just like any other adult. In fact, the flexibility of the muscles and tissues of athletes may make the lengthening process more straightforward and the recovery process faster. If a patient does not experience any major complications that affect their athletic ability, they should be able to return to their normal physical activities, including sports and weight lifting, after full recovery. However, it's not recommended for athletes who have professional career goals. The lengthy treatment process and nature of this procedure may affect the overall long-term performance. 

Is there a recommended age for leg lengthening surgery?

The surgery is generally considered safe for patients between 18 and 50 years old. However, there are two different conditions that need to be met to be eligible for the procedure at different ages.

For younger patients, the main requirement is that the growth plates in the bones have closed. The growth plates are responsible for natural bone growth during puberty, and once they close, it is no longer possible for a person to grow naturally. As a result, limb lengthening surgery may be the only option for patients whose growth plates have closed.

For older patients, the main concern is the potential for bones to become weak and brittle. To ensure the safety of the procedure, patients over 50 years old may be required to undergo a bone density test and additional assessments. This helps to ensure that the bones are strong enough to withstand the stresses of the surgery and the rehabilitation process.


How painful is limb lengthening surgery?

This surgery involves making precise cuts in the bone, and as with any surgery, there is always a risk of pain and discomfort during the recovery period. The level of pain experienced by patients can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the patient's individual pain tolerance, the specific technique used, and the location and extent of the surgery.

During the surgery, the patient is placed under local or general anesthesia, so they do not feel any pain. However, once the anesthesia wears off, the patient may experience pain and discomfort in the affected area, especially during the first few days after surgery. The pain can be managed with various pain management techniques such as pain medication and physical therapy.

Patients can experience different levels of pain during the different phases of treatment. For example, during the distraction phase, when the bones are gradually separated, the patient may experience muscle pain and discomfort as the muscles lengthen to accommodate the growing bone. Physical therapy also helps manage the pain and strengthen the muscles. In modern techniques, with proper pain management and follow-up care, the pain is managed effectively, and patients can achieve the desired results with minimal discomfort.


How long does limb lengthening surgery take?

The duration of surgery depends on the method used. Limb lengthening surgery with the LON method takes between 2 and 3 hours. Limb lengthening surgery with the Precice 2 method takes between 1.5 and 2 hours.


Will I be able to return to my previous health condition after lengthening surgery? 

Yes. With proper care and rehabilitation, you can expect to return to your pre-surgery health condition. The procedure involves several stages, including the initial surgery and post-operative rehabilitation, which may involve exercise and other forms of care.

Normal walking is usually possible within 4-5 months after surgery, although the weight-bearing nail Precice Stryde may allow for this in a couple of weeks. Bone consolidation, which is the process of bone healing and becoming solid again, occurs after 5-6 months. Full recovery typically takes 9-12 months.

 

It's important to keep in mind that these time frames may vary based on your condition, and the physiotherapy and care you receive after your surgery. 

Is limb lengthening covered by insurance?

In general, cosmetic limb lengthening is not covered by insurance because it is considered an elective, or optional, procedure. This means that it is not medically necessary and is done for aesthetic reasons rather than to address a medical issue. Insurance plans typically do not cover elective procedures, including cosmetic surgery.

If you are considering cosmetic limb lengthening surgery, you will likely need to pay for it out-of-pocket. It is important to discuss the cost of the procedure with the surgeon or their staff to understand the full financial commitment involved. You may also want to speak with your insurance provider to confirm that the procedure is not covered under your plan.


Is there any surgery to make you shorter?

Yes, there is a surgical procedure called "limb shortening surgery" or "shortening osteotomy" that can be used to make a limb shorter. This procedure involves removing a small section of bone from the limb and then realigning the remaining pieces of bone to create a shorter limb.

Limb shortening surgery is typically performed to correct a congenital (present at birth) or acquired condition that results in a limb that is longer than the other limb. This can cause an imbalance in the body and result in problems with mobility, gait, and overall function. Shortening surgery is only recommended if other treatment options, such as physical therapy and medication, have not been successful in correcting the imbalance.

 

If you are considering limb shortening surgery for psychological or cosmetic reasons, it is important to discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure with your surgeon to determine if it is the right option for you.

What are the other surgeries performed by Prof.Dr.Yuksel Yurttas?

Dr.Yuksel Yurttas specializes in limb lengthening and deformity correction procedures and successfully performs the following surgeries:

  • Arm lengthening surgery

  • Limb shortening surgery

  • Limb deformity correction

  • Bowlegs / Knock knees correction

  • Leg length discrepancies

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