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Is it possible that remodelled bone after a small fracture will increase one's height?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10356 Questions
Dear doctor,
I know this question might sound strange but I really need to find the answer to it.
Q: Let's say there's a small fracture (eg. stress / hairline fracture) at the very bottom of my foot (foot sole - bottom of calcaneus - which we use to stand on and walk). And after it heals and becomes remodelled and you stand straight to measure your height, is it possible that the remodelled bone will increase your height? The reason I'm asking this is, when I saw a picture of a healed (remodelled) bone (from fracture), both sides of the healed part look a bit fatter (or thicker?) than when it was not fractured. One of my friends told me that every time a stress fracture occurs and heals, your height will increase by 1mm after it heals which means if you fracture the same area of your calcaneus 10 times and heal it 10 times, your height will increase by 1cm? This just doesn't make sense to me. I asked one of the doctors about it and he said it won't make ANY difference (not even 1mm) after the fractured part heals but I just want to make sure of it. Thanks for reading my silly question and I look forward to hearing from you ASAP! Thank you very much doctor.

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Posted Fri, 29 Jun 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 26 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
Whenever there is a fracture, callus forms around the area which helps in healing. When the callus is formed, the area becomes rough and a bit distorted which is sometimes painful. This is seen for upto 2-4 months after a fracture.
After that, the process of remodelling takes place and all the extra tissue is shed off thus returning the bone to its original shape. There cannot be a difference of even 1mm if the fracture has properly healed.
You cannot think of increasing your height this way by repeated fractures as after remodelling of bone, you will be back to your original height.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is it possible that remodelled bone after a small fracture will increase one's height? 3 minutes later
Dear Dr. Tayal,

Thank you so much for your very kind answer. I appreciate it. Sorry if I sound a bit too obsessive and detailed but you said "if the fracture has 'properly' healed" does it mean that it can make a difference to height if not 'properly' healed or something? Or am I just being too sensitive? Sorry.....
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 8 minutes later
Thanks for writing again.
By properly healed I mean that there is no malunion or angulation at the fracture site which can reduce the height.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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