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Author Topic: READ THIS FIRST: Leg Lengthening FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)  (Read 320531 times)
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« on: November 09, 2011, 11:23:36 PM »

You MUST read these FAQs in FULL before posting to the forum

1. Is it possible to become taller using pills or chemicals?
2. How does Leg Lengthening work?
3. How much can Leg Lengthening allow me to grow?
4. Which parts of the legs can be lengthened?
5. Does it hurt?
6. How long does it take?
7. Can both thighs and shins be lengthened at the same time?
8. Is it dangerous?
9. Why does this type of surgery seem to be more common in developing countries?
10. What other factors influence height?
11. Who is the best LL doctor in the world?
12. Which is the best LL method available?
13. How much does it cost?
14. How do I work out which method is best for me?
15. How much should I increase by before it will affect my proportions?
16. Are there any risks in doing Leg Lengthening and what are the side effects?
17. Can anyone do Leg Lengthening?
18. Are there any long-term complications from having LL?
19. I've just joined the forum, why can't I post or send private messages?!
20. What will happen to the price of LL in the future?
21. Why can't I edit my posts or delete things that I wrote before?
22. Booing and Clapping - MMT credibility system explained
23. Member Ranking Explained
24. Banning of members from the forum
25. How do I contact SysOp

1. Is it possible to become taller using pills or chemicals?

No, it is not possible. Once you have stopped growing, the growth plates in your bones fuse and this prevents any further growth of your bones. Bones are the major contributing factor to your height. Any company claiming to offer pills, chemicals, machinery or other magical solutions to permanent height increase are trying to scam people. No such solution has ever been proven to work.

2. How does Leg Lengthening work?

It involves one or more of the bones in a limb being 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 walking 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 (

3. How much can Leg Lengthening allow me to grow?

The human body has astonishing growth abilities, and significant height increases have been realised by people with growth deficiencies. Technically, in excess of 12 inches is possible where medical reasons dictate.

For cosmetic reasons, most surgeons recommend a maximum of 5cm per limb, but up to 12cm is possible with some techniques.

However, excessive lengthening may cause problems with the patient's bodily proportions which may make them unattractive. It may also lead to future health problems such as premature arthritis, bone weakness or muscle atrophy.

We strongly advise patients to carefully study their proportions and to have realistic goals. If a patient desires to lengthen 10 cm, it is preferable to do 5cm on tibia and femurs independently rather than to lengthen 10cm after one surgery. However, a number of members of this site have managed to lengthen 7.5cm or more on just one part of their leg without any major complications. It it generally easier to do this with an internal rod, but it has been done with external fixators. It takes much longer to lengthen and recover once you pass 7.5cm on any one leg section. If you are going to lengthen past 5 cm with an external fixator, it is generally recommended that you do LON and have an internal rod inside your leg while you lengthen that will be secured once you lengthen so that your external fixator can be removed. This makes consolidation much easier to get through.

4. Which parts of the legs can be lengthened?

Both parts of the legs - the thighs containing the femur bone and the shins containing the tibia and fibula bones can be lengthened. However, most techniques focus on the shins due to the lower risk of complications.

5. Does it hurt?

Yes! There is certainly some pain involved in leg 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.

In general, internal methods are less painful than external methods but there are no "pain-free" treatments available.

6. How long does it take?

For an increase of 5cm (50mm) a normal, healthy adult should expect the whole process to take about 6 months from operation, to being able to walk 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.

While 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 0.66mm per day is recommended as the maximum for tibias and 1.0mm per day as the maximum for femurs for a normal, healthy adult.

(Opinion: We strongly advise against lengthening any faster than 0.66mm per day on tibias or 1.0mm on femurs, but please, choose a reputable doctor and listen to their advise!)

7. Can both thighs and shins be lengthened at the same time?

Technically this is possible, but it is strongly discouraged.

Very few doctors condone this approach, and some of those that do have had terrible results, sometimes requiring that their patients take years to recover.

(Opinion: We strongly advise against lengthening both parts of the leg at the same time. Where a patient feels that they really do require lengthening to both parts of their legs, this should be done sequentially with a gap of at least one year between operations)

8. 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.

While there are very few reports of serious injury, it is a possibility with this type of surgery.

9. Why does this type of surgery seem to be more common in developing countries?

There are several possible reasons for this.

Firstly, developing countries usually have a lower level of nutrition than industrialised nations which may lead to higher incidences of bone and growth deformities. This means that they often have more doctors focused on this field, and there is a close link between the techniques used to treat deformities and those employed in Leg Lengthening.

Secondly, tighter regulation and legal frameworks in industrialised nations make cosmetic leg lengthening very expensive and problematic for surgeons due to the possibilities of litigation and problems with medical regulators.

Finally, the average height in industrialised nations is greater than that in developing countries, meaning that demand for such services is greater in the developing world.

10. What other factors influence height?

As well as nutrition, a person's height will be affected by genetics (the height they inherit from their parents or other ancestors), illness and their lifestyle. Some research indicates that young people who engage regularly in sports and have a healthy, balanced diet are more likely to achieve their maximum possible height than a young person who doesn?t exercise and has poor nutrition. There are a number of childhood illnesses that can stunt a person?s growth, some of them related directly to growth, others that simply affect nutrition (e.g. digestion problems).

An interesting example of the impact of nutrition is a comparison of North and South Korea. Although orginally from the same gene pool, South Koreans are now considerably taller than their North Korean cousins due to better nutrition and medical care.

11. Who is the best LL doctor in the world?

There is no answer to this question. The best doctor for a particular person will depend on their individual circumstances and requirements.

12. Which is the best LL method available?

There is no answer to this question. The best method for a particular person will depend on their individual circumstances and requirements. For internal lengthening, the Albizzia Nail, Betzbone Nail, Guichet Nail and Bliskunov Nail are recommended. For external lengthening there are a variety of Ilizirov fixators which are recmomended as well as some of the newer monorail devisces.

13. How much does it cost?

The full costs for an LL treatment of 5cm are likely to be between 12,500 and 125,000 US Dollars depending on a number of factors.

14. How do I work out which method is best for me?

Use resources like Make Me Taller (MMT) to do your research, learn about different techniques and decide which method is best for you.

15. How much should I increase by before it will affect my proportions?

There is no set answer to this. It depends on your existing proportions, your height and only a Leg Lengthening specialist is qualified to give advice on this.

Once you have chosen which doctor to work with, they will advise you on what increase is possible and also what increase is advisable. There is no other way to answer this question.

Everyone is different. It is possible to be 160cm tall with long legs and to be the same height with short legs.

There is no formula that will allow you to work out what is possible, although the general consensus amongst MMT members is that 5cm is unlikely to severely affect anyone's proportions.

16. Are there any risks in doing Leg Lengthening and what are the side effects?

Yes, there are risks with any type of surgery, although Leg Lengthening has been practiced for many years now and the risks are not as great as they once were.

The risks can be put into two groups: minor and major

Minor Risks & Complications

When the lengthening apparatus is put into the body, there is a risk of infection at the sites where it touches human tissue.

With external methods, infections are very common at the pin-sites where it is connected through the skin to the bone, but these infections can normally be treated very quickly. They can be avoided by regular cleaning of the pins sites and good general cleanliness and health.

With internal methods, infections are very rare, but when they do occur, they can be very serious as the infection will be trapped inside the body and may not be identified quickly.

In both cases, antibiotics can also help and, ultimately, the removal of the apparatus.

The surgery involved in Leg Lengthening requires various incisions to be made in the skin and flesh, and this can lead to scarring.

This can be particularly bad when it comes to external methods which can create multiple scars, some of which can be very deep and long.

However, the scars can normally be removed quite easily by a cosmetic surgeon, and scarring can be minimised by using special lotions and creams.

Major Risks & Complications

All Leg Lengthening methods involve separating one or more bones into two parts (osteotomy) and then slowly separating those two parts (distracting) and relying on the bones natural ability to regenerate.

If the rate of distration is faster than the rate of regeneration, there is a chance that the two halves of the bone will become totally separate and fail to grow together. This is a form of non-union.

This is a serious complication that sometimes needs bone-graft surgery to rectify it, or can result in the lengthening having to be reversed.

Nerve & Blood Vessel Damage
Leg Lengthening results in stretched nerves and blood-vessels. Sometimes, the stretching of them can result in damage to them which may require treatment by medication or surgery.

These are more common than non-union, but can be mitigated by ensuring that the rate of lengthening is not too fast for the body to cope with.

Premature Consolidation
If the rate of lengthening is too slow, the bone can heal before the lengthening process is complete preventing the target height from being achieved.

This can normally be avoided by careful monitoring, but if it happens, unscheduled surgery will be required.

Other Complications
Each different technique may bring its own unique risks, and these should be discussed with your surgeon in detail before the operation. An example of this would be pin-breakages with external methods.

There are NO reports of anyone ever losing a limb, or the use of a limb, as the result of LL

17. Can anyone do Leg Lengthening?

Many people consider leg lengthening, but not everyone is a good candidate for a range of reasons.

As with any medical procedure, there are some guidelines that doctors adhere to when considering whether or not person is a suitable candidate for Leg Lengthening - it is particularly relevant for Leg Lengthening as the number of experienced surgeons is small, but the demand is high, allowing surgeons to pick and choose their patients.

There are several factors that might exclude someone from being considered, including, but not limited to:

1. Obesity - patients who are extremely overweight not be suitable due to the load-bearing limits of Leg Lengthening frames and rods and also due to health considerations. Because most frames and internal devices have been designed for people who are relatively small, people with large builds be at greater risk of breakages and malfunctions, and may find it very hard to move around while during the process.

2. Heart / Lung Disease - patients with serious heart or lung disease may not be accepted because of the physical and mental strain of a long-term procedure like LL. The lengthening process, exercise and recovery can all take a toll on the body which may not be tolerated by people with weakened cardiovascular or respiratory systems.

3. AIDS or chronic infectious disease - doctors will refuse to treat patients with AIDS or chronic diseases that can be passed through blood or bodily fluids like Hepatitis. Because LL often requires open wounds and regular treatment of them, diseases like this could be spread to medical staff and other patients, which could create an unacceptable risk.

4. Mental Illness and Depression - because of the intense nature of LL and the mental strength required, most doctors will not treat patients suffering from any form of mental illness, or with a history of psychiatric problems. Such people are not likely to be able to tolerate the emotional and physical demands of LL over a long period of time which makes treating them a high-risk. This includes people suffering from depression and taking anti-depressants, as doctors will often not allow you to take medication during your procedure, unless prescribed by them.

5. Age - the ability for the body to regenerate damaged tissue diminishes with age, and some doctors have limits in place regarding the ages of LL patients. For some, an upper-limit of 60 years old is suggested, although people have had successful treatment above this age. The lower age limit is normally 18, but patients of any age can be considered if has been confirmed that they have stopped growing (i.e. that their growth-plates have fused).

6. Height - some doctors prefer to have an upper limit on the height of patients that they will treat. Many that have spoken to MMT have suggested that they would not consider a male patient above 175cm tall for Leg Lengthening, although there are cases where this has been done.

7. Poor General Health - people with poor general health (especially those on long-term medication) are likely to be dissuaded from considering LL because of the potential complications from mixing different medications, and also because a weakened immune system may increase the chances of infections and problems with bone growth and muscle recovery.

18. Are there any long-term complications from having LL?

LL has been practised for over 50 years and there are no reports of any long-term complications, and no reason or logic to suggest that there should be.

Once a patient has recovered from the procedure, and as long as they have lengthened less than 7.5cm, there is no evidence or scientific theory that suggests that their legs should be any different to someone whose legs were naturally that long.

There is scientific evidence to suggest that muscles stretched beyond 7.6cm risk permanent damage because this will take them beyond the elastic limit of the soft tissues, and it is recommended that no limb is stretched beyond this amount, although it is technically possible.

Once a patient has recovered from LL, their legs are as strong (and in some cases stronger) than before. This is supported in scientific studies, and through the personal testimony of veterans of this community who have successfully completed LL more than two years ago (e.g. Cbick, MMT Admin, Pixie, C12, Chloe),

19. I've just joined the forum, why can't I post or send private messages?!

This forum has thousands of members and tens of thousands of posts meaning that this is a seriously busy community Smiley

However, new members often post new threads and send private messages without first reading the FAQs and existing posts to find their answers.

Worst still, spammers and harassers create profiles just to disrupt and annoy others, which is unacceptable.

So, the security has now been configured so that new members can only start threads and send PMs AFTER they have earned the right by doing a few things:

a. Posting sensible replies to existing threads (e.g. the Newbie thread);
b. Being active on the board for a while;
c. Proving that they are not time-wasters and that they have read the FAQs.

As a rule, a new member will have to make 10 posts before the ability to start new posts will be unlocked. You have to prove yourself as a valuable member of the community before you can send PMs.

Nonsense posts, and posts raising questions that have been answered a million times before will just be deleted.

20. What will happen to the price of LL in the future?

The price of LL for cosmetic reasons is likely to increase significantly in the future as there are only a handful of reputable doctors and it is a service-oriented procedure, rather than a technology-oriented one.

The price has gone up by 50% since this forum was launched in 2006, and so a 25% price increase per annum is a reasonable expectation for the future.

This is NOT like other forms of cosmetic surgery where the price will go down as the demand goes up for several reasons:

a. Supply is severely constrained, and dropping due to fewer and fewer surgeons doing it as other forms of cosmetic surgery generate much more money for doctors.

b. A major cost factor in determining the price of LL is accommodation and food, which will always increase in cost in line with inflation.

c. Some countries are banning cosmetic LL which will further restrict supply.

However, no one who is not happy with their height should wish for the price to come down - the lower the price, the more people could have it and the harder it would be for someone below average to reach average height - you might be happy that you're 160cm and can do 10cm for $1, but the guy who is 175cm is going to do it too, leaving you back at square one!

The more expensive and exclusive LL remains, the better it is for those people who really want to increase their height.

Anyone who believes that the price will go down is mistaken.

21. Why can't I edit my posts or delete things that I wrote before?

Two of the important principles of this community are accuracy and integrity.

Some people post things on a forum like this, and then would like to go back and change it to cover-up things that they have said, to alter the past.

That is unacceptable!

Before you submit your post, please check it because once you have posted something, it remains. Only administrators and moderators can edit their posts.

This is particularly important for diaries which are meant to be a record of what people were feeling, and their state of mind - they would be of no value if people could go back and change them as they see fit!

Everything posted on this forum becomes the property of the forum and will be removed ONLY at the discretion of the Administration Team - think before you post - once written, what you've said is set in stone and becomes permanent!

Use the spell-check before you post if you are concerned about your spelling, and think before you start flaming people

22. Booing and Clapping - MMT credibility system explained

If you like something that someone has said, you can CLAP which will increase their credibility. If you don't like it, then you can BOO and this will decrease their credibility.

New members cannot affect the credibility of anyone until they have made a minimum number of posts. The starting credibility number for new members is zero.You can only change someone's credibility once per day, so you cannot abuse it and drive someone's credibility down if you don't like them. The more sensible, accurate and useful posts you do, the higher your credibility will be!

As a rule, people with low credibility do not make useful (or popular) contributions to the community, and their posts can be taken with a pinch of salt. If someone has a credibility score of below zero, it is likely that other members do not value their contribution. Those with high credibility are more likely provide interesting, accurate and useful information - these posts can be taken more seriously.

23. Member Ranking Explained

Some members of the forum has special characteristics that may be of interest to other members when reading their posts.

Primary Rank

Investigator - an active member of the forum that has demonstrated a level of credibility by contributing useful information to the community.
Troll: a person who is disruptive, abusive and / or continues to make inaccurate and misleading posts.
Administrator: SysOp, or someone with full security access to the Forum and the back-end database.
Global Moderator: a person with full access to the Boards and the ability to edit posts and member information.
LL Veteran - a confirmed LL Patient who can talk about their personal experience and has posted pictures of their treatment, demonstrating a high level of credibility.
LL Surgeon - a confirmed LL Doctor who can talk about Leg Lengthening from their experience of treating patients.
LL Trooper - an LL Patient or someone associated with them who has gone through the war of LL and come out on top
LL Legend - only the most important LL Veterans who have contributed the most to this community reach this rank

As a rule, information posted by Veterans and Surgeons is likely to be more useful than that posted by Trolls. People who have actually had Leg Lengthening clearly are better positioned to answer questions than those who are just thinking about having it done!

Post Ranks
As well as ranks based on people's credibility and status, there are also secondary ranks based on the number of posts and therefore the volume of information that people contribute to the community:

Newbie: a person who is new to the community
MMT Member: a person who has posted 50 times.
MMT Contributor: someone who has posted 250 times.
MMT Adviser: to reach this level, a person must contribute 500 valid posts
MMT Expert: this is person who has made over 750 posts, or a smaller number of very high-quality posts.

NB: Please note, posts that contain erroneous information or opinions dressed-up as fact do not count towards Post Ranks and will be discounted. Posts that are nonsense will be discounted too.

24. Banning of members from the forum
I believe in freedom of speech, but I will ban members when they break the rules of the forum, or just generally piss me off on purpose. Examples of activities that could result in banning are:

  • Creating multiple accounts to mislead members by posting to support your own views;
  • Deliberately posting false information;
  • Using unnecessarily foul or abusive language;
  • Threatening other members;
  • Trying to reveal the personal identities of other members
  • Continuous 'trolling' which is defined as ruining other people's threads by making 'off-topic' or unhelpful posts.

25. How do I contact SysOp?

You can contact SysOp through his email, which is visible in his profile, or through a PM if you have been active on the forum long enough.
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Make Me Taller! The world's number one elective leg lengthening site! Come here for information about LL, things to make you taller, how to get taller permanently, Ilizarov, Betzbone, Guichet Nail, PRECICE, height growth and other height related issues. This is the number one leg lengthening forum for height seekers and people trying to become taller. It was created and run by people who have actually done leg lengthening surgery (LL).

As a community site, MMT forum thrives on people's contributions, so please feel free to share your make me taller questions, videos, photos and experiences here in this leg lengthening forum. Make me taller is open to all, but please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) before posting as this will answer nearly all of your questions about getting taller through surgery. Please read our leg lengthening diaries too! We hope that you find this forum useful. Cheers, SysOp.

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