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Author Topic: Leg Lengthening Speed Theory  (Read 20395 times)
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« on: April 29, 2014, 03:48:51 PM »

There has been an ongoing debate about how much athletic ability an LL patient can expect to have after they have fully healed from their lengthening. People like to discuss recovery in percentages. The only way to prove recovery based on a percentage would be to do athletic tests on a patient in elite physical shape before their LL, and then do those same tests on them after they have healed from their lengthening. This has so far never been done in a scientific study.

I would like to posit a theory. An elite athlete can actually become faster after LL than they were before. Here is my reasoning. The average male femur bone is 48 CM long and the average male tibia is 36 CM long. Lengthening the average femur 8 CM would be a 16% increase of that bone, and lengthening the average tibia 7 CM would be a 19% increase in length of that bone. The total increase of 15 CM on both sections would be an 18% increase in total bone length of both sections and thus increase the running stride of that average male by almost 17% (taking into consideration loss from other body parts involved in the stride, namely the feet). Even if that elite level athlete lost 5% or 10% of their maximum muscle strength and capacity because of damage to the tissues from being stretched, that loss would be eclipsed by the increased length of the running stride.

A non-athlete that does LL will most likely not train themselves back to a point of recovery that is beyond where they were physically before LL, or they probably would have been an athlete before LL. But an elite athlete that knows how to train their body to its maximum potential should be able to do LL, train themselves back to a near full recovery, and still make themselves faster than they were before LL because of their increased stride length.

http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2010/11/speed-stride-length-x-stride-frequency.html

Quote
Speed= Stride length X Stride frequency

This simple equation is a staple in sprinting and biomechanics material. It simply means that to see a change in speed you’ve either got to increase the ground you cover (stride length) or increase your turnover (stride frequency) or some combination of the two. The bottom line is that something has to change.
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MiracleGrow
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 02:44:07 AM »

One thing to consider is that LL veterans will likely have smaller feet, on average, than people naturally their new height. Many of the fastest animals, like a horse, gazelle, cheetah, greyhound, etc. have small feet compared to their leg and body size. smaller feet mean less time contacting the ground. And, I thought I read somewhere that short toes and smaller feet were specifically correlated with faster running in part because it's less extra weight for the legs to carry around, allowing faster movement and less energy expenditure while running. Just a thought.

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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2014, 01:28:21 AM »

Another interesting idea I found online:

From http://www.drmirkin.com

Dr. Gabe Mirkin's Fitness and Health e-Zine
October 28, 2007

Longer Lower Legs More Efficient

People who have longer lower leg lengths (the distance
from knee to ankle) will usually have greater endurance during
running or walking than those with shorter lower leg lengths.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin showed that people
with longer lower legs use less energy when they run (Journal
of Human Evolution, August 2007).
In a previous paper in the same journal, these authors
showed that people with longer lower legs are better able to
prevent heat build-up, which slows you down and makes you
tired. When you exercise, almost 80 percent of the energy that
you use to power your muscles is lost as heat. So the harder you
exercise, the more heat you produce and the harder your heart
has to work to get rid of the extra heat. You prevent heat buildup
by your heart pumping hot blood from your muscles to the skin
where it is cooled by sweat and conduction and radiation.
People with longer lower limbs use up less oxygen and
produce less carbon dioxide for the same energy expenditure.
Therefore they are more efficient and can go further because
their bodies require less oxygen.
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2014, 09:11:42 AM »

I've done a lot of tests and sorry to burst your bubble here but the trauma is too big to ever be as fast or explosive as before.

Your athletic ability will NOT improve with LL.
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Starting height 173cm, now confirmed 180cm. Had surgery in India January 8 -13. Did ~7cm on tibia. Frame removal: 16 April -13. 180cm wingspan. Shrunk to 179cm as my final height. Considering femurs.
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2014, 09:32:59 AM »

I've done a lot of tests and sorry to burst your bubble here but the trauma is too big to ever be as fast or explosive as before.

Your athletic ability will NOT improve with LL.

You are too early in your recovery to know that as an absolute fact for yourself. I think it will be another year until your soft tissues have healed up to where they were before LL. At that point it will be interesting to see if your opinion has changed.
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2014, 12:55:32 PM »

Agreed....it seems that 2 years is the minimum to have a sensible recovery. I've seen many individuals fully recovered and well at 3 years- after the rods were removed.
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2014, 06:03:10 PM »

I've done a lot of tests and sorry to burst your bubble here but the trauma is too big to ever be as fast or explosive as before.

Your athletic ability will NOT improve with LL.

I agree to 100% with Sweden.
I really don't like to be harsh, but the theory of this thread is a complete joke.
You will never be as fast or as explosive as before.
To 90% of LLers this won't matter because they just wanna be taller.
But if you are still young and heavily involved into sports competition (meaning sports which require fast and explosive movements of the legs) you need to realize that you are about to give up your sports career.
You will never get back to the level you had once reached.
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2014, 04:42:40 PM »

I agree to 100% with Sweden.
I really don't like to be harsh, but the theory of this thread is a complete joke.
You will never be as fast or as explosive as before.
To 90% of LLers this won't matter because they just wanna be taller.
But if you are still young and heavily involved into sports competition (meaning sports which require fast and explosive movements of the legs) you need to realize that you are about to give up your sports career.
You will never get back to the level you had once reached.

This is truly depressing for me as I am young and sports-active, yet can't stand my height. I wonder what would happen if a person were to commit to the gym and jogging every day following LL for a good 6 months. I've heard of people growing over 30CM naturally in a year, and their muscles adapt to it fine. Why is it that they don't in people doing LL for only 6-10CM? Have you met any patients of Dr. Betz who have made a full recovery and regained an impressive amount of explosiveness?
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2014, 05:06:40 PM »

This is truly depressing for me as I am young and sports-active, yet can't stand my height. I wonder what would happen if a person were to commit to the gym and jogging every day following LL for a good 6 months. I've heard of people growing over 30CM naturally in a year, and their muscles adapt to it fine. Why is it that they don't in people doing LL for only 6-10CM? Have you met any patients of Dr. Betz who have made a full recovery and regained an impressive amount of explosiveness?

The muscles adapt because, I would imagine that adequate levels of HGH and other hormones are being released in order for them to keep up with the longitudinal growth of the bones.
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MiracleGrow
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2014, 05:17:18 PM »

The muscles adapt because, I would imagine that adequate levels of HGH and other hormones are being released in order for them to keep up with the longitudinal growth of the bones.


Makes sense. I hope that in the future HGH and hormonal treatment can be safely implemented into height increase surgeries to make athletic recovery more probable. Still, too little is known about it and its side effects to make it safe now.
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2014, 07:16:31 PM »



Makes sense. I hope that in the future HGH and hormonal treatment can be safely implemented into height increase surgeries to make athletic recovery more probable. Still, too little is known about it and its side effects to make it safe now.

Same here.
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« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2014, 12:48:57 PM »

Hi Guys,

I am 27 year old male 176-177. 5cm tall and have moderately bowed legs and a 1cm tibia discrepancy on my right leg (basically it's 1cm shorter)

I love playing football/soccer, unfortunately due to the pain of my knees and hips I require surgery to get them straightened.

I was hoping to get LON surgery and lengthen 3 and 2cm + 0. 5mm from correction of bowing which should get me close to 180cm

My concerns are will my athletic ability be affected after full recovery? will I notice a difference in my strides/gait?

I'm also very fit and healthy. . .

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!
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alestor91
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2014, 05:21:42 AM »

As a former collegiate level sprinter that has short legs, this is completely false. It's been proven in studies that the main factors in separating normal people from sprinters are how much force they can apply to the ground, how fast they can apply that force, and how long their forefeet are (from middle of foot to end of toes). Your rate of force production would drop significantly by altering limb lengths without the subsequent correct lengthening of tendons/ligaments and muscles.

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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2014, 04:34:29 PM »

As a former collegiate level sprinter that has short legs, this is completely false. It's been proven in studies that the main factors in separating normal people from sprinters are how much force they can apply to the ground, how fast they can apply that force, and how long their forefeet are (from middle of foot to end of toes). Your rate of force production would drop significantly by altering limb lengths without the subsequent correct lengthening of tendons/ligaments and muscles.

Tendons / ligaments and muscles do stretch from leg lengthening, but there has never been a study done that presents a conclusive difference in their strength before and after being stretched.

The article that this thread and the Leg Lengthening Speed Theory are based on is linked to above. Please post any studies or articles that you can find to support your argument rather than just saying "it's been proven in studies" so that people can read all of the materials and draw their own conclusions. Thanks.


Please post the studies you are referring to.
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alestor91
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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2014, 03:32:37 AM »

http://www.asbweb.org/conferences/2011/pdf/29.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11053354
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alestor91
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« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2014, 03:45:01 AM »

and this one

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20093666

Which shows that the rate at which you apply force is tantamount to your success as a sprinter. That's why there are huge correlations between your olympic lifting/weight room numbers and your success. You need to apply a lot of force and do so quickly. The whole speed=stride rate x stride length is something many non sprinters have a misconception about. It may be hugely true for running, but I don't believe it is that important in sprinting. Oh wait, you never mentioned sprinting in the OP...I was under the impression that you did, sorry about that  Cheesy
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2014, 08:12:04 PM »

Quote from: SysOp link=topic=7330. msg96398#msg96398 date=1398786531
There has been an ongoing debate about how much athletic ability an LL patient can expect to have after they have fully healed from their lengthening.  People like to discuss recovery in percentages.  The only way to prove recovery based on a percentage would be to do athletic tests on a patient in elite physical shape before their LL, and then do those same tests on them after they have healed from their lengthening.  This has so far never been done in a scientific study. 

I would like to posit a theory.  An elite athlete can actually become faster after LL than they were before.  Here is my reasoning.  The average male femur bone is 48 CM long and the average male tibia is 36 CM long.  Lengthening the average femur 8 CM would be a 16% increase of that bone, and lengthening the average tibia 7 CM would be a 19% increase in length of that bone.  The total increase of 15 CM on both sections would be an 18% increase in total bone length of both sections and thus increase the running stride of that average male by almost 17% (taking into consideration loss from other body parts involved in the stride, namely the feet).  Even if that elite level athlete lost 5% or 10% of their maximum muscle strength and capacity because of damage to the tissues from being stretched, that loss would be eclipsed by the increased length of the running stride.

A non-athlete that does LL will most likely not train themselves back to a point of recovery that is beyond where they were physically before LL, or they probably would have been an athlete before LL.  But an elite athlete that knows how to train their body to its maximum potential should be able to do LL, train themselves back to a near full recovery, and still make themselves faster than they were before LL because of their increased stride length. 

hxxp: www. scienceofrunning. com/2010/11/speed-stride-length-x-stride-frequency. html


This is something I've been wondering.  I'm an avid weight trainer and swimmer; will I be able to eventually fully-recover (and even further improve upon) my athletic ability if I choose a reputable doctor?
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2014, 08:54:08 PM »

This is something I've been wondering.  I'm an avid weight trainer and swimmer; will I be able to eventually fully-recover (and even further improve upon) my athletic ability if I choose a reputable doctor?

I posted this answer to a similar question on a thread titled "sprinting". The gist of this is that there are just too many variables to know exactly how well you will recover. You should recovery completely (although if you have complications they will have to be dealt with first). Some people will be exceptional:

If you are deciding on whether to do LL or not based on how well you will sprint afterwards, then you shouldn't do LL. If you are a professional athlete and make your living with your legs, then you shouldn't do LL. If your athletic ability is more important to you than your height, then you should not do LL.

I do know a professional football player in Europe who did internal femur lengthening, but you should not plan on his success as a model for your plans.
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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2014, 12:51:35 AM »

Sorry for veering a little off topic, but would a 3 and a 1/2 increase in BOTH the tibias AND femurs be too much? I've read that 3 inches is the limit that doctors recommend their patients not to exceed.  Would it bee too much stress on the legs and body overall?
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« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2014, 01:57:44 AM »

Sorry for veering a little off topic, but would a 3 and a 1/2 increase in BOTH the tibias AND femurs be too much? I've read that 3 inches is the limit that doctors recommend their patients not to exceed.  Would it bee too much stress on the legs and body overall?

Yes it would.

And the limit is 2 inches, not 3.
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Starting height 173cm, now confirmed 180cm. Had surgery in India January 8 -13. Did ~7cm on tibia. Frame removal: 16 April -13. 180cm wingspan. Shrunk to 179cm as my final height. Considering femurs.
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