Growing Taller Forcefully: Is Limb Lengthening A Cosmetic Trend Or Madness


A limb lengthening technique? Surely it is impossible for anyone to ‘artificially’ grow taller. That should be at least one standard in this world that is constantly driven by scientific advancements, where almost everything right now has been proven possible or is very steadily getting there.

Maybe someday growing taller will be achieved by a machine, but currently there is a more scary technique to achieving one’s desired height increase and that is through Limb lengthening.

Limb lengthening surgery actually dates as far back as the 1950s when it was pioneered in a small Soviet town called Kurgan in Siberia by a Polish man named Gavril Ilizarov. At the outset, the “magician from Kurgan” as he came to be known did not intend his technique to be applied for the cosmetic purposes that characterize its usage now, he had however intended it for accident victims or people born with differing limb lengths.

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These days however, Ilizarov’s limb lengthening technique which has of course been updated with more modern modifications to make it quicker and less painful, is applied to people seeking to grow taller for simple cosmetic reasons. The technique involves breaking the bones in the person’s legs and giving them a brace to wear until they can walk again. Basically, the bone is cut or broken and lengthened gradually with the help of metal wires and rings.

Limb Lengthening

Limb Lengthening Is Dangerous, But Some People Don’t Care

Numerous orthopedic specialists, contend that the surgery is extremely difficult to perform and can cripple the patient for life, but it has not deterred an increasing number of Indians and people from other nationalities from trooping to the surgeons willing to carry out the procedure and undergoing what is at its best an unregulated, experimental cosmetic procedure.

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While, it is very easy to dismiss the trend as cosmetic madness, a few of the advantages must be considered like how many young Indians have attested to its improvement of their marriage and career prospects, and also its advantage of fueling a cosmetic surgery boon in India for instance which already has a reputation for medical tourism.

One surgeon who carries out the surgery and was featured in the Guardian’s article about the procedures in India said that the dangers were worth it to see the increased self esteem of the patient;

“You can barely recognize them. It’s worth it when you see how much their self esteem grows.”

Even those advantages however seem to pale in comparison to the resultant effect of any mistakes of in the procedure; the loss of the person’s ability to walk and the fact that anyone still sees the need to undergo such a risk for cosmetic reasons is a testament to the fact that we all need to ensure that we do not propagate a message that any one body type is preferable to the rest.