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  • Writer's pictureDr. Yuksel Yurttas

Can You Run After Leg Lengthening Surgery? A Detailed Explanation

One of the questions we often hear about stature lengthening surgery is this: Can you run afterwards? The answer, happily, is yes. Once you've fully healed from this surgery, you're free to enjoy all kinds of physical activities, including running. In this article, we're going to talk about the healing process, what you might expect in terms of limits, and how to safely get back to activities like running that require a lot of energy and strength.


orthopedic surgeon and femur lengthening x-ray
Post-Surgery X-ray: Femur Lengthening in Progress

Surgery and Lengthening Process


In limb lengthening surgery, we tap into the amazing ability of your body to create new bone. It starts with a step called osteotomy. Here, the orthopedic surgeon cuts the bone that needs lengthening. Then, they use special devices, either outside or inside the body, to keep the bone stable.


Now, let's talk about recovery. It has two main parts. First up is the distraction phase. This is when the cut bone is slowly moved apart. It's like magic – each day, we make a tiny gap, just 1 mm, to help new bone grow in that space. Picture it: in about 80 days, you can have up to 8 cm of new bone! But it's not just waiting; you'll be doing physical therapy and exercises to help your legs get stronger and more flexible. This also helps your muscles and soft tissues get used to your new length.


Physical therapy is super important. It's what helps you get back your strength, flexibility, and balance. These are all key for you to start running again. Once you're all healed and strong, you can slowly get back into running. But start easy – maybe walking or an elliptical trainer first. Always check with your physical therapist or surgeon about the best way to get back to running.


Bone Consolidation and Recovery


After you've got your new length, we enter the consolidation phase. This is when the new bone gets strong, solid, and ready for your daily activities. During this time, you can do most of your usual activities without being too heavy. Walking is a great exercise to start with – simple and really good for you.


Full Recovery and Returning to Running


After the bone has fully consolidated, you're ready to get back to your normal activity levels. For one surgery on the femur or tibia, it's usually 9 to 12 months post-surgery before you can resume performance-requiring activities like running, jumping, and lifting weights. But remember, your doctor has to give the green light first.


Potential Limitations and Precautions


Most of our patients are able to run just like before after they've fully recovered from their height increase surgery. But it's important to know that everyone's journey is a bit different. In the beginning, you might find your endurance isn't what it used to be, or you might run a bit slower, or even notice your walking style has changed a bit. This is all normal. The key is to be patient with yourself and listen to what your body is telling you. Sometimes, you might need more physical therapy, or in rare cases, another surgery to address any issues that arise.


Here are some tips to minimize the risk of injury and avoid any potential complications:


  • Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your runs

  • Wear appropriate footwear with ample support and cushioning

  • Practice proper running form and technique

  • Avoid overtraining and allow adequate recovery time between runs

  • Stay in close communication with your healthcare team to address any concerns or issues


By following these steps and taking care of yourself, you'll be back to enjoying your runs – with the bonus of your new height! Remember, safety first, and the rest will follow.


After your height surgery, we provide 24/7 support to our patients until they are fully recovered or even able to run at full performance. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact us now for a free consultation via WhatsApp at +90 533 973 5289 or email us at info@dryukselyurttas.com.


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