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If the most bottom part of calcaneus bone has fracture and heals later, it might reduce but not increase the height ?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 170 Questions
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Dear doctor,

I've asked this question before and I know the answer you gave is accurate and reliable. However, I pay too much attention to little details and can't help wandering about some stuff related to it. I'd appreciate your patience and cooperation, Thank you: My question last time was if the most bottom part of your calcaneous bone (foot sole) has a fracture (including hairline fracture), after it remodels and heals, will it increase my height when I stand up and measure it? Even 1mm? THE ANSWER I got for this question was: NO. YOU CAN NOT increase your height by doing this. Not even 1mm. IT WAS AN ANSWER I WAS SATISFIED WITH.

Now, my question is, (something I want to confirm) IF the most bottom part of my calcaneous bone has a fracture and heals later on, it might reduce the height but NEVER increase it RIGHT? Which means if you break it 10 times and heal it 10 times, it might decrease your height by tiny bit (when not properly healed) but NEVER taller right? So it makes more sense to say your height might shrink by 0.01 - 0.05mm if unlucky but NEVER EVER taller right? Not even 0.0001mm, right? Thank you.
Posted Fri, 13 Jul 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 28 minutes later
Dear XXXXXXX
Thanks for coming back to XXXXXXX

You got it right. There is always a possibility of decrease in height than increase. After a fracture the mass of bone is prone to shrink and not elevate the height of the bone.

The only exception to this is if the calcaneum is operated upon with plating and height reconstruction is undertaken that went awry. And even if that, to measure it to the power of 0.001 is never done since calcaneum is majorly involved in determining a persons height.

Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: If the most bottom part of calcaneus bone has fracture and heals later, it might reduce but not increase the height ? 15 minutes later
Dear Dr. Wankhede,

Thank you very much for your quick answer. However, due to my English problems, it'd be very nice of you to rephrase the second paragarph, "The only exception.. XXXXXXX So are you saying that it is possible to DECREASE by 0.001 but never INCREASE by 0.001? Sorry and thank you!
 
 
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 1 hour later
Dear XXXXXXX
Thanks for replying back.

I shall rephrase the paragraph. I meant that nobody measures the deficit of height in small figures like 0.001. We usually calculate the discrepancy in centimeters if not millimeters.

Again, the bone usually decreases in height and never lengthens unless planned to do so. Also let me correct my mistake above -calcaneum is 'not' majorly involved in determining a persons height.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: If the most bottom part of calcaneus bone has fracture and heals later, it might reduce but not increase the height ? 10 minutes later
Dear Doctor Wankhede,

Thank you so much for your patience and I"ll ask you one last thing (actually clarifying). I know I can be quite annoying. when you said "the bone usually decreases" it means means "IF ANY CHANGE OCCURS AFTER HEALING, then there would only be a DECREASE, which means if there's a fracture in that area 10 times, then it is possible to decrease by 0.1mm but never increase by ANY number right (ZERO change)?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 1 hour later
Dear XXXXXXX
Thanks for replying and please don't think its annoying, I'm right at your service for as long as its required.

There's a difference between healing one time and healing of refracture 10 times. After first refracture, usually the chances healing diminishes moderately so having a refracture 10 times completely rules out healing (fracture union). So the issue of deficit in height is not such a serious problem than achieving fracture union. And as I said, calcaneum is not important factor in height determination like other (long) bones.

I hope you have more clarity on this topic, and I welcome more queries if you have.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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