1) How does stature lengthening work?
A new fully implanted lengthening nail is available. The Precice Nail manufactured by Ellipse inc. is FDA approved. We use the Precice 2 (and will be using the Stryde nail once available) which is the second generation and improved implant. The lengthening nail is telescopic and lengthens the bone in a very controlled fashion. An external magnet actuates the device and results in 1mm of length per day. This translates into an inch per month.
2) How much of an increase in height can I get?
The usual goal of lengthening for stature for most patients with low normal stature (LNS) is 3 inches (8 cm). More than that amount cannot be achieved safely in one pair of bones during one lengthening. For more lengthening one needs to repeat the process in a second pair of bones. The maximum lengthening possible with the Precice nail is 8 cm (3 inches).
3) How long does it take?
Most patients are in the hospital 3 nights after the procedure. Physical therapy to stretch the hips, knees, and ankles begins in the hospital and continues after discharge as an outpatient. Patients need to have physical therapy for one hour everyday during the 3 months of lengthening. Patients are seen in follow up every two weeks during the lengthening phase. Even out of town patients need to be seen every two weeks. Consolidation or hardening of the bone must be seen on x-ray. This usually takes about 4 months after surgery.
Removal of rods is necessary in the future. This is done about one year after the procedure, and is an outpatient ambulatory surgery with a very quick recovery.
4) How much does stature lengthening surgery cost?
The approximate current medical costs for bilateral lengthening is about $125,000 which includes a discounted surgeon’s fee, hospital and equipment fees.
5) Is it covered by insurance?
Lengthening for stature is considered aesthetic and will sometimes be reimbursed by insurance carriers. This is not known until the surgery is planned and pre-authorized with your insurance carrier.