• Dr. Yuksel Yurttas

Age Limit for Limb Lengthening Surgery

Short stature can be a problem for people of all ages. Almost every individual has a height goal that they want to reach from childhood. However, not everyone can reach the height they dream of due to biological and environmental factors. If you suffer from short stature or your goal is to be taller than your current height, there is a definite and permanent solution: limb lengthening surgery. In this article, you can learn about the age limit for limb lengthening surgery and whether you are at the appropriate age for surgery.

The minimum age limit in limb lengthening surgery depends on the reason for the surgery. Limb lengthening surgery can be performed in childhood to treat dwarfism (achondroplasia), limb length discrepancies, and correct congenital deformities.

Minimum and maximum age limit for cosmetic limb lengthening surgery

The minimum age limit in cosmetic limb lengthening depends on the closure of the growth plates (epiphysial plate or physis). Growth plates are responsible for new bone formation during childhood and are closed at the end of puberty (between ages 17 and 20). After this age, the only way to increase height is limb lengthening surgery.

Theoretically, there is no maximum age limit for limb lengthening surgery. However, to have limb lengthening surgery at older ages, the person's physical strength, general health, bone mineral density, and bone quality are evaluated. As bone density and bone quality decrease with aging, it is recommended to have limb lengthening surgery before age 50.

maximum age limit - 50 years old patient before and after limb lengthening
A 50-year-old patient had a bone density test and was found suitable for surgery. The patient grew 12.5 cm in total with two limb lengthening surgeries.

If you are over the age of 50 and want to have lengthening surgery, it would be best to have a bone density test before deciding on the procedure.

What is the best age to have cosmetic limb lengthening surgery?

Between age 20 and 30, the body no longer forms new bones as before, but the bones reach peak strength and mass. However, after age 40, we gradually begin to lose bone mass.

Up to age 40, the body constantly removes old bone and replaces it with new bone. This process is referred to as remodeling. By the age of 40, all of the removed bone is replaced with new bones. This process slows down after age 40.

Even if cosmetic limb lengthening surgery can be performed up to 50, the priority should be to preserve bone strength and health. As a result, the most suitable age for limb lengthening surgery is between 20 and 40 years.

How can I find out whether my growth plates are closed?

Growth plates appear as black lines at the ends of bones on an x-ray. When growth plates close and cartilage has hardened entirely into bone, this black line will no longer be seen on an x-ray. This indicates that the growth plates are closed.

To determine whether your growth plates are closed, you can go to a hospital's orthopedic department and get an x-ray.

Book a free consultation to find out your eligibility for surgery

We have provided you with the most detailed information about the age limit of limb lengthening surgery. If you are under 18 and want to learn how to get taller, you can better understand the natural growth process by reading this article.

If you are over 18 and want to have a height lengthening procedure to become taller, you can book a free consultation and reach your dream height safely at the most affordable cost.

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