The Engineer's Notebook Blog

The Engineer's Notebook

The Engineer's Notebook is a shared blog for entries that don't fit into a specific CR4 blog. Topics may range from grammar to physics and could be research or or an individual's thoughts - like you'd jot down in a well-used notebook.

Previous in Blog: Trick Your Kids Into Feeling Better   Next in Blog: When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Giant (Part 2)
Close
Close
Close

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Giant (Part 1)

Posted June 20, 2008 12:00 AM by Sharkles

People are willing to go to extremes to be beautiful, and to enjoy the benefits of confidence. Whether or not you agree with conventional notions of what makes someone "attractive", there are certain ideas of how people should appear. In American culture, women are said to seek "tall, dark, and handsome", while men are assumed to search for the "tall, model-type" woman. These are just stereotypes, of course, but some people take them to heart.

Dealing with the genes we're dealt is no longer necessary. With advances in cosmetic surgery, you can change anything about yourself that you find unflattering - whether it requires a nose job or calf implants. Now, you can change even your height by going under the knife. Limb lengthening is a complex procedure that was reserved originally for children with disproportionate leg lengths. It was also an option for people born with dwarfism, and to give people with Constitutional Short Stature extra inches of height. Constitutional Short Stature affects people who were born in the bottom fifth percentile of height (in their region), but who do not display the characteristics associated with dwarfism.

There are two types of limb lengthening: the Ilizarov method out of China, and a newer procedure at the Betz Institute in Germany. [Author's note: if you have a weak stomach (like me), you might not want to read the full explanation of these surgeries]

The Ilizarov Method
The Ilizarov method has four stages: preparation, surgery, lengthening, and strengthening. The preparation stage involves consulting with a physician to have X-rays taken. The X-rays allow a custom Illizarov external-fixator device to be built for the patient.

The Ilizarov surgery consists of breaking the tibia and fibula bones in each leg. The external fixator is attached to each half of the bone with pins that go through holes in the patient's skin. Over the next few months, the fixator is lengthened and new bone growth occurs slowly (about 1 mm a day). The patient is confined to a wheelchair during this time to prevent putting any weight on the growing bone; however, the patient is also scheduled for a few hours of physical therapy each day.

The final stage of the Ilizarov method is strengthening. The patient remains confined to a wheelchair for the next 3 - 6 months as the new bone gains strength. The external fixator remains on the leg, but is no longer attached. Physical therapy is reduced to three times a week. At the end of this phase, the fixator is removed and the patient can generally walk without assistance; however, a cast is sometimes necessary to protect the leg for an additional month.


Check out part 2 of this article, right here in Kate's Controversies.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Guru

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Defreestville, NY
Posts: 1072
Good Answers: 87
#1

Re: When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Giant (Part 1)

06/22/2008 9:21 AM

http://www.salon.com/comics/opus/2008/06/22/opus/

__________________
Charlie don't surf.
Reply
Reply to Blog Entry
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Previous in Blog: Trick Your Kids Into Feeling Better   Next in Blog: When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Giant (Part 2)

Advertisement