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It Is Possible To Extend The Length Up To 17 cm

It Is Possible To Extend The Length Up To 17 cm

Today, one of the most frequently asked questions of patients in lengthening surgeries performed both for structural reasons and for aesthetic purposes is how long their height can be extended. Although this may vary according to the bone structure, muscles, tendon lengths of the person and the physical therapy to be applied afterwards, the tibia can be extended by about 7-8 centimeters and the thigh bones (femur) by about 7-9 centimeters. With today’s technologies, it is possible to increase a person’s height up to 17 cm in a healthy way. Since it will be risky in terms of surgery to ask for a height increase above this rate, the risks that will occur should be explained in detail to the patients who come with high expectations.

In the past years, height lengthening surgery was performed in medical conditions where the structures in the body, often defined as dwarfism, were extremely short, but today, the scope of height extension surgery has expanded. These treatments can also be applied to people who suffer from short stature, lose their self-confidence, and have problems in their daily life. In order for the lengthening surgeries to be successful, the bone parts called the growth plate must be closed and the growth must be completed.

If it is asked what is the ideal age for surgery, it is possible to say that the ideal time is after the age of 20. It is important for the person to have a detailed interview with the physician before deciding on surgery, and to talk about the risks, benefits and gains of the surgery in this meeting. Although the targeted amount of elongation in lengthening surgery varies between 7-9 cm, it is possible to lengthen up to 17 cm. It is a success to increase the patient’s height by 7-9 cm compared to the pre-operative period. If there is no risk for the patient, height extension should be performed by considering the general health conditions, bone and tendon structures of the patients who want more lengthening.

During the lengthening process, some pain may occur in the muscles, veins and nerves due to this process. In addition, some muscle weakness may occur due to inactivity due to the inability to actively use the lengthened leg. While planning the treatment with suitable heavy relievers for pain, physical therapy should be performed at a time and frequency that the physician deems appropriate, in order not to weaken the muscles. In lengthening surgeries, especially in the lower leg lengthening, if the person’s muscle and nerve tissue can stretch more than the muscle and nerve tissue can lift, the Achilles tendon may be short, so a patient-specific approach is important. In the lengthening process, the bones to be lengthened are removed from each other and then new tissues are formed and fill this gap. Bone lengthening surgeries are used for aesthetic purposes as well as in the treatment of single leg shortness, severe leg curvature, congenital shortness of stature, unsuccessful fractures, and bone inflammation in children and adults.

What are the advantages of new technologies?

With new technologies, it is possible to obtain 8-17 cm lengthening without complications in a lengthening surgery, although it varies according to age and the cause of the shortness. These are surgeries that are performed by strict control and fine calculations, and the treatment is spread over time. The operations are 1-2 hours and the hospital stay is about a week. Since it may vary from patient to patient, this period can be between 3-5 days. In lengthening surgeries, it is necessary to listen to the patient and understand the problem, and learn the expectations and experiences of the patients. After the surgery is decided, medical examinations, various tests, measurements, and the planning of the post-operative process are required. After the patients have survived the hospital stay with surgery, it is time for the extension period. There is also a waiting period required for the elongated bone area to fuse and solidify, and then a gradual return to daily life begins.

What is done before lengthening surgery?

The most important factor in lengthening surgeries is the preoperative examinations and listening to the patient’s history. After a detailed history is taken from the patient, it is time to determine whether he is suitable for surgery with medical tests. With various imaging methods, it is checked whether there is any problem in the bones. The patient’s arm and leg lengths, their proportional situation in the body, and whether there is any discrepancy in the limb dimensions are examined. Apart from these, the patient’s suitability for the anesthesia that he will receive during the surgery is also examined. Values such as the patient’s past medical history, previous surgeries, blood values, blood pressure and pulse are checked. Before the operation, the patient and his relatives; How the surgery will take place, how the treatment process will progress, and the complications that may develop due to the surgery are explained in detail. The preparations are completed by obtaining a consent document from the patient, in which he accepts that he has been informed about all these issues.

How is lengthening surgery performed?

Although lengthening surgery is usually performed on the thigh (femur) bone, bone lengthening can also be performed on the shin bone. During the surgery, the bone is cut transversely with a process called osteotomy, while both ends of the bone are fixed externally with special devices. After the lengthening surgery, the bone ends connected to the device are separated by 1 millimeter per day. After this removal process, the body creates new tissues in this area and the space between is filled, thus the bone is lengthened. 

The process of removing the cut bone ends from each other continues until the targeted size is achieved. This process takes approximately 6-8 months. After the operation, the patient should stay in the hospital for 2-3 days. Physical therapy is started in order to prevent insufficiency in the muscles due to the immobility of the treated leg. It is very important that patients continue these sessions regularly and in accordance with the duration. The continuation of physical therapy throughout the lengthening process and its regular application make a positive contribution to the success of the surgery. It is beneficial for the patient to continue to visit the doctor approximately every 10-14 days to evaluate the postoperative bone development. Some patients may think that they cannot reach the height they want with a single operation. For this reason, they can express to physicians that they want to have this operation twice. However, repeated surgeries create risks in terms of general health and may cause difficulties for patients due to the high cost. In this regard, it is beneficial for both physicians and patients not to take risks.