FAQ (A Guide to Cosmetic Leg Lengthening)
Written by Joshua Leaf | Updated on September 15, 2021
How Can I Get Taller?
It’s impossible to make yourself taller in a day, but adults can gain inches in height and make their legs longer in less than a year with cosmetic leg lengthening surgery.
At this time, there’s no other way adults can grow taller. Although correcting one’s posture through stretches and exercises can restore a few millimeters in height. However, younger children going through puberty can potentially facilitate the growth of their legs by eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining excellent posture.
What Exactly is Leg (limb) Lengthening Surgery?
Leg or cosmetic limb lengthening surgery allows people to permanently get taller in just a few months. That’s right, thanks to modern technology, anyone can gain inches in height if they have the time and money.
The height-increasing surgery involves breaking the shin and or thigh bones before implanting an internal or external fixator. The fixator or nail slowly pulls apart the bones for months (distraction), and the bones fill in the gaps in a process called consolidation.
After distraction, patients are a few inches taller, and the majority of the process is over. From there, the bones are allowed to heal (consolidate). For more details, check out our surgery page.
How Much Taller Can I Get With Surgery?
With the newest nails such as PRECICE and STRYDE, it’s possible to safely gain 8 – 16 centimeters or 3.1 – 6.3 inches in height throughout 1-3 surgeries (excluding rod removal, which is a minor procedure).
The more you stretch pre and post-surgery, the more likely you’ll reach your desired height. The main thing that stops patients from lengthening is the soft tissues getting tight from the distraction (lengthening) process.
Can Anyone Get Taller Through Surgery?
Yes, anyone can get height surgery with just a few exceptions. The following list is why some people may not be able get limb lengthening surgery:
- History of smoking
- Poor health or vitamin deficiencies
- Under 18 years of age (growth plates must be closed)
- Mentally stable (some doctors may perform or outsource a psychological evaluation)
- Not enough time between work, school, and family
- Unable to afford the surgery
How Much Does Limb (Leg) Lengthening Surgery Cost?
Surgery to increase your height ranges from country to country, doctor to doctor, and even more so for various lengthening methods. For example, a surgery using a classic but outdated method such as lengthening over nail (LON) in India will be significantly cheaper and inherently riskier than going with the newest STRYDE nail in the same country. Additionally, it’s much more expensive to have the surgery in the USA or European countries, no matter the nailing method used.
With that said, cosmetic limb lengthening surgery costs anywhere from $15,000 – $300,000.
As always, it’s advised to prioritize your safety over the cost of surgery. You can read more about costs here. Or, check out a list of doctors and their associated costs here.
What Are The Potential Risks of Limb Lengthening Surgery?
By picking a top-notch surgeon and a dedication towards physical therapy, you can mitigate many of the risks associated with surgery.
However, just as with any surgery, there are always risks, side effects, and potential complications. Some minor side effects are pain, weakness, difficulty sleeping, and mental fog due to the constant dull pain.
More serious side effects include a fat embolism, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, nerve damage, and more. Check out our article about risks, complications, and side effects to better understand what can go wrong.
How to Tell if You Have Long Legs for Your Height?
Body proportions and ratios vary significantly from person to person. Two common ways to measure your leg to body ratio is with the perineum to floor or ankle to hip measurement.
Then compare these measurements to your total height or upper body height to gauge your ratios. Some people go as far as measuring the proportions between their tibias and femurs for a more aesthetic look. Normally tibia to femur lengths are .8 + / -.02
How Many Inches do People Grow in a Year?
If you’re under 18 and contemplating surgery, we suggest waiting to see if you hit a growth spurt before committing or fantasizing about such a procedure. On average, young children grow 2.25-3.33 inches per year between the ages of 12-18.
When it comes to limb lengthening, it’s possible to grow about 4+ inches in a year, or approximately 6 inches in two years.
Can I Get Shorter in Height?
Yes, you can get shorter through height reduction surgery, even though the procedure is quite rare. Many of the same doctors who perform cosmetic limb lengthening know how to perform surgery to reduce your height.
Please note, both men and women undergo height reduction and increasing surgery for various reasons.
Does Insurance Cover Limb Lengthening?
If someone has a significant limb length discrepancy or deformity, insurance may cover all or a portion of the procedure. However, leg lengthening surgery is considered an elective cosmetic procedure to increase your height, so insurance does not cover any costs.
What is Heightism, Height Dysphoria, and Height Neurosis?
- Heightism – is the discrimination or prejudice towards an person because of their stature or height
- Height Dysphoria – means that someone is unhappy with their height
- Height Neurosis – is essentially a synonym for height dysphoria that Dr. Dror Paley coined
Note, Body dysmorphic disorder is a related but separate term that means one is obsessed with or over-emphasizes certain flaws or characteristics.