Whether you are tall or vertically challenged, you adapt to daily challenges. Some go further and surgically increase height.
By Kevin RR Williams
Children dream of being tall—the taller the better. Beyond the small percentage of youths that advance to celebrity basketball careers, most tall people must adapt to challenges on a daily basis.
By height and weight, I am a smidge larger than most NFL players. I even exceed the 2 percent of individuals above 6' 2" (1.88 meters). Before sharing how to grow taller, I want to shine a light on some inconveniences of being among the 2 percent.
Don’t get me wrong; height has advantages. Most people literally look up to you. Tall children are less likely to have bullies. Increased height allows you to literally carry more weight: At 5' 2" (1.6 meters) and 200 lbs (91 kg), a person is enormous. A man the same weight at 6' 2" (1.88 meters) appears slim. But there are downsides.
Off-the-rack clothing selection is sparse for inseams of 36 inches (91 cm) or more. Fortunately, trouser crotches have dropped a couple of inches over the past few decades. In most cuts, a 34-inch (86 cm) inseam can accommodate a 6' 4" (1.93 meters) man. Extra long (XL) jackets may further decrease selection. Even neckties can come up short.
A queen-size mattress is about 80 inches long (6' 7"). Because people rarely sleep with their heads pressed against the headboard, expect pointed cold toes to hang off the bottom when you are taller than 6' 4" (1.93 meters). Plan on forking over more money for a King-size bed or curl up on your side in a fetal position.
Few cars accommodate people above 6 feet tall (1.83 meters) well. Even some luxury SUVs offer inadequate head or leg room. The aerodynamic windshield slope reduces visibility as eyes get closer to the roof. From this higher vantage point, the sun visor and position of the rearview mirror blocks most of the windshield.
It is physically impossible or uncomfortable for tall persons to get behind the steering wheel of many cars—even with the seat all the way back. Moving a front seat all the way back can eliminate rear passenger leg room. This reduces family seating capacity. Don’t plan on getting a job as an automobile valet.
Flying coach or business class provides little leg room. Those extra inches diminish if the person in front of you decides to recline their seat. Best options are to reserve a wing seat or pay extra for first class.
Ubiquitous computer use means nearly everyone has a computer desk at home or at the office. The standard desk height requires very tall people to slouch over. This leads to neck and back pain. But I sense that I am not convincing you that being tall is undesirable.
The average height of an adult male is just shy of 5' 10" (1.75 meters). Spinal compression—occurring with age—can reduce your height by 1 percent. In tall people this can be as much as a half inch. My father lost 3.75 inches over his lifetime through a combination of spinal compression, knee replacements, femur fractures, and leg surgeries. Stretching and hanging upside down can restore most spinal compression, but will not make you taller.
Despite disadvantages of height, many on the lower end of the height spectrum long to be even a few inches taller. Shoe lift inserts or platforms are common.
More extreme than these temporary cosmetic options, some people look to orthopedics and pursue surgical treatment. the medical term is distraction osteogenesis. Surgeons study a patient’s anatomy before beginning the lengthening process.
At 5' 6" (1.68 meters), Apotheosis, underwent a surgical procedure to add 6 inches (15.24 cm) to his height.
Dr. Dror Paley, a renowned orthopedic surgeon at the Paley Institute in West Palm Beach, performed 650 individual leg-lengthening surgeries on different patients during the year 2011 alone.
The Precice® Intramedullary Limb Lengthening System combines magnetic interaction with a remote control. The Reach Your Height website claims patients can grow an inch per month with 7 minutes a day of treatment, experiencing less pain than traditional distraction osteogenesis.
Generally, lengthening by 2–2.3 inches (5–6 cm) takes 5–7 months. During this time patients remain under observation by the medical team for guaranteed results. Add a new wardrobe to the price of surgery. Or cherish the advantages of remaining as you are.
To support the writing of useful articles about orthopedics, ClinicalPosters sells human anatomy charts, scientific posters and other products online. You may sponsor specific articles, remit a small donation,Slide extra posters into DeuPair Frames without removing from the wallYou can donateYou may sponsor specific articles, remit a small donation,Slide extra posters into DeuPair Frames without removing from the wallYou may remit a small donationAlso shop for ClinicalPins that include more than lapel pins or leave an encouraging comment to keep the work going. Visible content is optimized for device size.