How far would you go to become taller? Would you wear heel lifts ... or would you break your leg in a excruciatingly painful leg-lengthening surgery to gain inches?
In Germany, Jeff’s femurs (thighbones) were severed by a surgical saw. The surgeon inserted a rodlike telescoping implant in the bone canal of each leg, bridging the cut. He fastened each rod in place with four pins. The next morning Jeff stood up on his new legs and took a few steps on crutches.
He spent seven days in the hospital and the next 10 weeks, the lengthening phase, at a nearby residence. After the surgery, a sticky blood mass called a callus—the beginning of new bone—formed on each of his broken femurs. Jeff’s job was to click a remote control that signaled the rod to telescope out one millimeter a day, stretching the bone callus with it. He describes the feeling in pubescent terms, as “an intense growth spurt.” Then, during his last six to eight weeks in Germany, he waited for the bone to knit together and harden in its new, longer form.