Experimental Surgery to Stop Leg Growth

In 1960, at the age of 10, sixteen staples, eight on each side were inserted into the growth centers of my knee and leg bones of my left leg.  At the time my right leg was three inches shorter than my left leg and I had a three inch built-up sole on all my right shoes to offset this.  The surgery was considered experimental but for two years the growth of my left leg was stopped while my right leg caught up.  In 1962 the staples were removed and my legs were at that time about the same length although once I was done growing the right leg still ended up about 1/4 inch shorter.  The staples were huge, at about the size of a quarter.  Imagine 16 of these things in your leg?

One thing that came from this is that I've been able to tell people that "I'm actually taller than I really am."  I get nothing but blank looks from people as they try to process that.  But I feel like I'm 6'1" tall, my only brother is 6'3", and when I sit down in a group, such as at church I can look over almost everyone's head.  My body sitting is of a 6'1" person, but when I stand I've only been about 5'10" because my legs were shortened 3 inches.  A very strange way to go through life indeed.


Copyright 1980-2012, Sheldon T. Aubut, all rights reserved


revised October 03, 2012