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Arm Lengthening => Arm Lengthening FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) => Topic started by: MMTA on May 07, 2009, 08:09:12 PM

Title: Arm Lengthening FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) from MMT
Post by: MMTA on May 07, 2009, 08:09:12 PM
This thread is designed to allow you learn more about Arm Lengthening

1. How does Arm Lengthening work?
It involves one or more of the bones in your arm broken, and then the two separate parts of that bone being slowly pulled apart (distracted).

Normally this involves small adjustments done several times a day.

Bone regenerates in this situation, and new bone cells will be produced and will fill the space in the break. The new bone will not be fully hardened (consolidated) for over a year, but should be strong enough to support usage within a few months of surgery.

There are a number of different techniques, some involving only internal procedures, others using external and sometimes a combination of the two.

The principle was discovered by Professor Ilizarov of Russia, and the standard external device for lengthening or leg correction is called the Ilizarov frame.

There are many alternatives, but nearly all are based on the principles discovered by Professor Ilizarov (

2. Does it hurt?
Yes! There is certainly some pain involved in arm lengthening (LL), but it most cases the pain is manageable using painkillers and therapies.

Some people may find the pain unbearable and be unable to continue with the treatment, others will experience very little pain and discomfort.

3. How long does it take?
For an increase of 2.5cm (25mm) a normal, healthy adult should expect the whole process to take about 2 - 3 months from operation, to being able to use their arms unaided again.

Some people will take longer. For those who are particularly fit, healthy and have a high pain tolerance, it may be possible to do it more quickly.

Whilst the bone can regenerate at a rate of 1mm per day, muscles, blood vessels, nerves and tendons grow more slowly, and so a lengthening rate of 0.666mm per day is recommended as the maximum for a normal, healthy adult. A strong person with an above-average level of fitness may be able to achieve a rate of 0.833mm per day.

Some doctors allow 1.00mm per day lengthening, but at this pace of lengthening, muscle and tendon problems are common, especially with the joints.

4. Is it dangerous?
All unnecessary cosmetic surgery carries an element of danger and doctors should ensure that their patients fully understand all of the risks and potential complications before they accept them for surgery.

Whilst there are very few reports of serious injury or limb loss, it is a possibility with this type of surgery.

Issues of complications and possible disabilities are the same as with leg lengthening, and so people should refer to the main MMT FAQs at:,94.0.html

5. Why do it?
Whereas Leg Lengthening has the obvious tangible benefit of making the patient taller, cosmetic Arm Lengthening has no medically or scientifically-proven benefits:

a. Longer arms are not acknowledged as improving one's appearance;
b. Longer arms do not provide any obvious practical improvement.

However, some people who are considering Leg Lengthening for purely cosmetic reasons become concerned about their proportions, and therefore think about having their arms lengthened too.