Men and Women Purposely Saw Legs in Half to Grow Taller

Princess 19 on 6 Jan 2012 at 9:30am

Originally meant to improve dwarfism or uneven limb growth, limb lengthening surgery is now also offered as a cosmetic procedure.  Men (and women) are paying up to $53,000 to purposely saw their legs for the possibility of growing 2-6 inches taller.  No, this is not a magic act.  It is a real surgery. 

We have talked about bone shaving being voluntarily done to cosmetically enhance a square jaw.  But, cutting completely through bone to induce a growth spurt?  This takes invasive cosmetic procedures to the next level.

Dr. Jean-Marc Guichet, the French doctor who pioneered the method, offers the technique at his clinic in Marseille  - appropriately named the “Leg Lengthening Clinic.”   

“The requests have trebled in the past ten years,” Dr. Guichet told the Daily Mail

Patient at Leg Lengthening Clinic

The clinic's screening process is strict and accepts only 20%-30% of individuals that are consulted.

“I will only do it if I am sure that the patient really wants it, will make a complete recovery and regain all functions,” Dr. Guichet added.

“Patients must be fit and healthy with strong bones and be seriously committed to the operation.”

Why the long commitment?  Because the time frame alone for the whole process (from actual surgery to full recovery) can take up to a year and a half.

x ray with lengthening rod in place

To begin the process, holes are drilled through the thighs.  A saw is used to separate the bones into two.  Lengthening rods are inserted into the bones and screwed into place.  The patient is sewn closed. The rods are what provokes the bones to grow, but keeps them in place.  Through a series of exercises post surgery, the rods click the legs to grow (see video for demonstration).  The rods are removed approximately 18 months later with the patient inevitably taller.

The average growth from limb lengthening is 2.5 inches.

“The surgery is not for the faint-hearted. Patients have to prepare physically by building up muscle strength in their legs.

But is this safe?

According to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brett Rocos, this surgery is risky.

"You are creating a new fracture in the bone every few days and the worry would be faulty healing. The new bone might not form completely, or heal in an unusual shape so that the bone becomes deformed. As a purely cosmetic operation, it’s not worth the risk."

Talk about “no pain, no gain.”  This procedure takes that saying literally.  Men, try some high-heeled shoes.  They work, too.

Check out this video on how the process works - if you can get past the really bad (we mean REALLY bad) elevator music, it is quite compelling.

Photo Credit:  ChinaDaily, Leg Lenghthening Clinic, Daily Mail

Comments (6)

Oh, they really did saw their legs just to get taller? I can’t imagine how much pain it costs.
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Wear heels ladies..
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A $53k + year and a half for 2.5 inches???? I'm happy with my height, but I just can't see how that's worth it. 4+ inches, maybe. But, you know my motto: if it makes you happy and you're safe and smart about it, do what you need to do.

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Seriously... risking your health & mobility for something like that though... I'd have to be really, really, really short to consider it. Not something you'd do for an extra inch or so, but can see why it appeals. Once it's done I guess you're stuck with the lengthening rods so may aswell.
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You make a great point.  You really have to be VERY serious regarding this surgery as it is both invasive and a huge commitment physically.  But, as mentioned above, the patient is not left with the rods forever.  The surgeon removes them after the growth process and fusing is done - about 18 months later.  So, if all goes well, he or she is taller and no rods are left inside the body.
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Yeah sorry that's what I meant. But someone could do this in a month of madness and wake up thinking... I don't want to turn those screws. But I have to now. Ouch. Not like a bad implant that can be taken out after surgery.

That's the caveat - if all goes well. I'd like to know what can go wrong! Permanent disability potentially. Problems later in life(?) Butterhoney puts it succinctly, lol.
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