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How Many Inches Can I Grow with Limb Lengthening?

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If you're unpleased about your height and are thinking about undergoing limb lengthening surgery, you're probably curious about the question of "how many inches can I grow with limb lengthening?". It's so normal that patients want to know the limits of this procedure. But before explaining this question, we want to talk about the golden ratio and its importance. 

The golden ratio appears in nature, seen in things like flower petals and shell spirals. Some suggest that a man's body is ideally proportioned when his waist-to-shoulder ratio is close to 1:1.6.

However, in truth, the concept of 'ideal' body proportions is largely influenced by social norms and what the majority of people think attractive. If you're considering limb lengthening surgery to increase your height, it's important to understand the golden ratios for arm and leg lengths. This involves examining the arm-to-body and leg-to-body ratios, as well as the intra-limb ratios, which compare the upper to lower parts of the same limb.

What Is Leg-to-Body Ratio (LBR)? 

LBR has a much larger influence on attractiveness than arm-to-body ratio. Legs that are 5% longer than average are thought to be the most attractive by both men and women. LBR considers men with slightly longer torsos and shorter legs to be more attractive. 

What Is Arm-to-Body Ratio (ABR)? 

This ratio is calculated using the distance between the fingertips of both outstretched hands. Arm length, on the other hand is measured from the top of the shoulder to the wrist. 

The ABR (arm-to-body ratio) is more accurate when calculating the arm to body length ratio because it is calculated by dividing arm length by height.

Are Ratio and Proportion Preferences Universal? 

No. Preferences for these ratios differ due to differences in average ABR and LBR across geographical and ethnic groups. Legs and arms that are closer to the average are considered more attractive, while those that differ greatly are considered unattractive.

How Do Femur and Tibia Ratios Affect Limb Lengthening? 

The femur and tibia ratio refers to the relationship between the lengths of the femur (thigh bone) and the tibia (shin bone). This ratio is used to understand and analyze the proportionality between these two primary bones in the leg.

Because it is less complicated, femur lengthening is generally a safer option for leg lengthening surgery than tibial lengthening. Different surgeons will use different methods to decide which bones to extend. It's important to note that the safe limit for tibia 5-7 cm, for femur 6-8 cm.

Femur Tibia Limb LengtheningLimb lengthening surgery typically yields successful results, enhancing body balance and proportion. Even after femur lengthening, some individuals might still feel that their legs aren't proportional. Whether you're contemplating lengthening the tibia or aiming for a height increase, it's possible to achieve the desired physique.  

However, it's essential to approach limb lengthening with realistic expectations. While the procedure can't add an entire foot to one's height, significant increases of over half a foot might be achievable based on the chosen surgical approach. 

We'll discuss the potential height gains from different surgical methods and address whether the procedure can fully resolve feelings of height dysphoria (unhappiness with one's height).

Does limb Lengthening make you disproportionate? 

There is no absolute limit to how tall you can grow, but most doctors will only allow a maximum height increase of 6.3 inches over 2 surgeries. Depending on the bone that is operated on, you will typically gain 2-3.25 inches of height with a single surgery. You can also use our free online consultation service to learn about the limitations of lengthening surgery and the reasons for these barriers and can find much more in the leg lengthening surgery forum and blog page

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Limb Lengthening Types

The difference between height increase surgery types is determined by which bone is lengthened - the femur or thigh bone or the tibia or calf bone. 

Only Femur or Tibia Lengthening

These procedures involve either the femur or the tibia being lengthened, but not both. You can gain up to 3.15 inches of height with femur lengthening, and up to 2.75 inches with tibia lengthening. 

Despite the fact that the height gained is roughly half that of the combined femur and tibia option, having surgery on one segment is less expensive and has a faster recovery time. If everything goes as planned, you should be fully recovered 3-4 months after the lengthening procedure. 

Tibia Lengthening Following Femoral Lengthening 

Despite the fact that the total time for this surgery, including recovery, can be up to 2-3 years, you can gain up to 6 inches. There is a one-year gap between the femur surgery and the tibia lengthening, followed by a one-year recovery period. This is a longer process, but it allows the femur to reach its full potential because the tibia is lengthened later. 

Femur and Tibia Lengthening Combined 

You can gain up to 4 inches if you have a single combined femur and tibia lengthening procedure. You can, however, opt for a second procedure. Our doctor, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yunus Öç,  recommends patients to wait minimum of 6 months after the first surgery for their second one. The reason for this is that patient's bone union should be completed and the patient should be able to weight bear fully.

Why does Limb Lengthening Surgery have a limit? 

Limb lengthening surgery has its limitations, primarily because muscles and soft tissues don't heal and solidify like bones do. During the lengthening process, tissue tightness is a frequent issue. While physical therapy can alleviate this tightness and help preserve mobility, its effectiveness has boundaries. 

The more you increase in height or length, the higher the risk of complications. A growth of 5 cm in a single joint is considered safe, 5-8 cm carries more risks, and any increase beyond that is generally discouraged. Hence, combining tibia and femur surgeries to achieve a total increase of 10-13 cm is preferable over just lengthening the femur extensively.

Who Qualifies for Leg Lengthening Surgery?

Leg lengthening doesn't have a specific height requirement! The Wanna Be Taller Team asserts that it's a patient's self-perception that determines if they need this procedure. A study exploring the connection between height and height dysphoria (also termed height neurosis) revealed that feelings of dissatisfaction with height can be felt by individuals across the height spectrum, meaning one doesn't have to be definitively short to experience such dysphoria. 

For instance, someone from Denmark might perceive themselves as short in a height bracket where an individual from a different country might see themselves as overly tall and be unhappy about it. Such perceptions are influenced by the cultural context and individual feelings of the person in question.

Height Restrictions for Limb Lengthening Surgery 

Height Restrictions for Limb Lengthening Surgery 

Limb lengthening surgery should be regarded as a cosmetic procedure. It can definitely enhance confidence and relieve mental health in so many clients, but, as with cosmetic procedures, not every procedure is successful in making the patient feel better about themselves. 

While limb lengthening surgery is a huge success, maintaining a level head, understanding your motivations, and approaching it pragmatically is critical. Do your research and don't be afraid to talk to our doctor about your intentions or the operation itself. Click here to schedule a free consultation.

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WannaBeTaller AI Assistant X

Hello, I am the world's first limb lengthening surgery assistant, created by the first limb lengthening facility in Turkey (Wanna Be Taller). Feel free to ask me anything about limb lengthening surgery.

This conversation is being conducted with an artificial intelligence model. The responses provided by the artificial intelligence are intended for general informational purposes and are not legally binding. To obtain precise information, please contact the patient consultant.