Pioneering leg-lengthening surgery carried out in Edinburgh | Letters

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Leg-lengthening operations (Would you have your legs broken to make yourself taller? The men who go through hell for a little extra height, 9 November) were routinely conducted by William Anderson at the Princess Margaret Rose orthopaedic hospital in Edinburgh as early as 1965, employing the newly invented Anderson frame. The experimental procedures initially involved some delicate “carpentry”, creating a sliding joint in the tibia or femur, but Anderson soon realised that by simply breaking the bone such a procedure was unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming. As a medical photographer, I recorded Anderson’s early work, which remediated severe limps that had invariably been caused by polio.
Dr Allan Dodds
Bramcote, Nottinghamshire

While I was a patient in a north Wales hospital circa 1965, I saw a young woman practising walking after having had several inches removed from her legs, as she felt her 6ft height was a handicap. I have sometimes wondered whether she later needed to have her arms shortened to keep them in scale with her shorter legs.
Cherry Lavell
Polegate, East Sussex

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