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Can cyst, tumor or mass formation between joint space increase the height?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1975
Answered : 72 Questions
Dear Orthopaedist

I've asked questions about my foot bones before and this is on a different topic now.

1. In a person’s knee, ankles, and other synovial, cartilage joints, here are cartilage and ligaments that stabilize and hold bones together, right. If some kind of cyst, tumor, or any kind of mass forms in between the joint space (synovium space?), can it stretch my ligaments far apart and increase my height even by 1mm? According to a doctor I know, it may decrease my height but never increase it (even by 1mm) because when something forms in between it never increases anything but reduces the amount of cartilage and rather make the joint / cartilage spaces smaller? Is this true?

2. LET'S IMAGINE THAT I don't have any ligaments or tendons and my bones and joints just hang loose - my height still doesn't change even 1 mm right? I'm saying this because obviously - our height is whatever we see from outside (skin), all the way from the foot to the vertex of the head.

When you answer it'd be great if you could be exact (eg. 1mm, less than 1mm, etc)

The reason I keep asking you these things is I want to make sure that the height I'm measuring on the wall is my TRUE height (without any mass, nothing abnormal in between my bones). Frankly, I'm pretty tall for a woman and I don't wish to get taller at all.

Sorry about this very weird question and I'll not ask you the same question over and over again if I get it right (unconfused) the first time. I used to be quite obsessed but now I've gotten rid of that obsession. Thank you!
Posted Fri, 4 Jan 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Rajesh Gajwani 49 minutes later
Thanks for your query.

As an answer to your question I believe that any growth, cyst or tumor will not increase one's height even by a mm. I strongly feel that what you are measuring is your true height and there is nothing to worry about.

If you still want to ascertain your doubts, then you may get an MRI of those joints done where you feel the problem may lie. But I think that there is absolutely no literature supporting the increase in height of an individual due to any mass or growth in ligaments, tendons or anywhere in the synovial space.

Hope this answers your query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Can cyst, tumor or mass formation between joint space increase the height? 53 minutes later
Dear Dr. XXXXXXX Gajwani,

Thank you very much for your nice, quick response. I appreciate it.
I'll just need one last 'one sentence response' from you clarifying what I know.

Just to clarify - Regardless of what happens inside (mass, cyst, etc. or whatever), the skin that covers the bone and muscles which we can see from outside doesn't increase even a mm, right? If so, whatever length we measure (the outside skin covering the bones) from the bottom of the foot to the vertex of the head is our height. Correct? And no matter how hard we stretch the 'skin' by standing very very straight and erect, our height stays the same. Correct?

Just wanna make sure what I said above is right. THank you!
Answered by Dr. Rajesh Gajwani 36 minutes later

The presence of growth or tumor may cause an area in the body to expand horizontally but there will be no changes in the vertical height of an individual. As i mentioned earlier whatever length we measure should remain the same.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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