I have the most common form of dwarfism, achondroplasia. When I was 16 years old I had an operation to straighten and LENGTHEN both of my legs. Before my surgery I was at my full-grown height: 3'10" a little over three months later I was just over 4'5." TODAY, I now stand at 4'11" after lengthening my legs again. In between my leg lengthenings, I also lengthened my arms. The surgery I had is pretty controversial in the dwarfism community. I can now do things I struggled with before - driving a car, buying clothes off the rack and not having to alter them, have face-to-face conversations, etc. You can see before and after photos of me on my gallery: chandlercrews.com/gallery

AMA about me and my procedure(s).

For more information:

Instagram: @chancrews

experience with limb lengthening

patient story

Comments: 2522 • Responses: 25  • Date: 

gracesp83769 karma

Hey Chandler! We went to elementary and middle school together. Go panthers! Lol

I saw you got your surgery a couple years ago on facebook, and was incredibly interested in learning more about it. Where did you have your surgery, and did your insurance cover it? How was the pain and PT afterward? How long did it take you to fully recover? Hope you’re doing well! You look amazing

chancrews3631 karma

hi! I had it done at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. insurance did cover it for me. pain was honestly not that bad, but I also have a pretty high pain tolerance lol. I did PT 5 days a week for 2-3 hours. it takes a few months to FULLY recover, but it was all SO WORTH it in the end :)

diiejso3739 karma

Did you originally grow the amount of skin for a person who wouldn't have dwarfism and it was sort of bunched up? Does your muscle /skin feel better after the procedures? I don't know how to ask that without it sounding rude but I don't mean it to be rude.

chancrews3853 karma

YES! to the first question lol that’s exactly it. muscles were a little tight after the fact.

you’re not rude at all! your first question actually helps answer a lot of the questions that have been asked ☺️

WVUGuy292763 karma

Why did my stupid ass sit here and think you tried to grow an extra foot as opposed to trying to lengthen your height?

chancrews1043 karma

idk probably because of the way I worded it lol

Biggmoist600 karma

Is it an extra left foot or right foot?

Also, how has the way people treat you changed since surgery.

chancrews586 karma

it's an extra foot in height - so both? lol

KriticalMA568 karma

I also had a limb lengthening, 3 actually, but mine was to correct a single length discrepancy in my leg. Have you met many other people who have had this kind of procedure done?

chancrews536 karma

you mean for dwarfism or one leg shorter than the other? either way the answer is yes :) i’ve actually made so many friends who had lengthening as well for their leg-length discrepancy. where did you have your procedures done if you don’t mind me asking. :)

chancrews429 karma

yep!

Brothersquid479 karma

Do you ever hit your head on things that you never had to worry about?

chancrews683 karma

no. I’m still pretty short lol

Accomplished_Square410 karma

Were any of your friends against you having an operation? Do you drink hot coffee or iced coffee at midnight?

chancrews498 karma

my friends were all supportive :)

iced coffee in the morning and afternoon. hot coffee at night.

kaosaddi223 karma

Is there anything you miss about yourself pre-surgery?

chancrews413 karma

nope

KunSeii182 karma

What was the biggest unexpected change for you following your surgery?

I noticed in the article that someone posted, it mentioned you were a college student at the time. What did you major in? What do you do now? What are you long term career ambitions?

chancrews440 karma

unexpected was the face to face communication.

so my original major was biology, but now I’m in PR 😆 long term...I would love to be in communications at a hospital - basically a patient coordinator. I’ve also been considering law school lately. I’m just all over the place. lmao

EL4900170 karma

In the news article someone posted where you’re interviewed, it says you knew you’d have to have surgeries down the road regardless. If you don’t mind me asking, what would those have been for? And will you still have to get them now?

chancrews377 karma

I was referring to straightening my legs. it was a given because they were soooo bowed. I knew I would have to get them straightened so I was like “okay, I’ll lengthen too!” lol

cwhite3268159 karma

Does insurance cover the surgery or is it considered cosmetic?

chancrews320 karma

for dwarfism, it's not considered cosmetic so insurance did cover it for me.

Mave0193147 karma

is limb lengthening available for all? I'm a 5'0" male and I would kill to be 5'4"

Everyone is hating on that bagel fucker who 15 mins have kinda gone away, but I undestand his pain.

Anyway, how painful was everything surgery wise?

chancrews213 karma

yes, anyone can lengthen. the center I had my procedures actually performs cosmetic limb lengthening. since I have an actual diagnosis mine was covered through insurance. the way my anatomy is lengthening was easier for me than someone without my diagnosis because of how my muscles, tissues, joints are.

kindadgaf95 karma

Hope you're still answering!! I've seen your pics before and am so happy that you've been able to change your life in such a positive way. Very soon I'll be doing something similar with my own body.

My question is, in the future, would you consider additional surgeries to target the other common traits of your particular form of dwarfism?

The legthening surgeries seem so glaringly obvious as quality of life boosters, but wondering if you, as an individual, would change any other features associated with dwarfism.

chancrews139 karma

I plan to answer as many as I can, but it’s 230 in the morning so I’m just scrolling through them for now lol. I’ll definitely answer more.

not gonna lie - I have considered rhinoplasty but that’s it. I haven’t moved forward with it or anything. just thought about it.

perkinomics78 karma

Which leg did you put the 3rd foot on?

chancrews33 karma

what? lol

riotousviscera61 karma

you say you're now 4'11" and can buy clothes off the rack and not alter them. my question is how, and where do you shop?! because i am naturally 4'11 and clothing is a struggle lmao.

PS, you look amazing!

chancrews69 karma

lol it’s definitely easier. I have the best luck with pants from J. Crew - they have a lot of petite options.

ventag20 karma

Where did you get the black butterfly pants from?

chancrews36 karma

kate spade on clearance :)

scrumbly18 karma

How did you settle on 4'11"? Is that personal preference, the limits of what can be done, etc.?

chancrews26 karma

I have considered just going for 5'2"

UserOfChairs15 karma

Can growth hormones accomplish something similar?

chancrews30 karma

not for achondroplasia

dackerdee12 karma

Have you ever been romantically linked to another person with dwarfism?

chancrews14 karma

nope

Theobat9 karma

Do any of your family members have the same condition?

chancrews23 karma

nope, I'm the only one of me in my family lol

OkiDokiTokiLoki8 karma

Have you had the opportunity to ride a roller coaster?

chancrews19 karma

yes and I actually hate roller coasters - too fast, jerky, etc. I like slow and calming rides lol

octropos8 karma

How are you handling the media coverage? Are you getting more unwanted sexual attention after going viral?

chancrews17 karma

I’m pretty much an open book so I actually don’t mind the media coverage lol

Ask_A_Sadist-17 karma

You wanna fuck?

chancrews6 karma

no